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Scotland, People, Secede, India, Pakistan, Kashmir

This article analyzes the idea of economic and political freedom, in the light of recent events in Scotland. Provides a very broad and deep historical perspective. Compares different political options available. Explains that the individual freedom is not an expression of geographical boundaries. It is an expression of economic and political ideologies and systems people living under. You are not free, unless as an individual you are free to determine the way you want to live.

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Criminal Background Investigation and Search

This article analyzes the criminal background investigation and search providing websites and other online and offline services. We need to understand that the world is much smaller and crumbled, now. Contrary to old days, specially in big cities, everyone has to deal with strangers, almost everyday, for different personal and business related reasons.

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The Relevance of Old Fashioned Medicine in the Contemporary Age

As science and technology advances at a rapid pace, there is a decreasing reliance upon the simple and more traditional techniques of administering and applying medicine. There is some debate to be had however as to whether this is necessarily a good development or otherwise, especially as some studies have revealed the power of basic and natural techniques in treating illness and disease. Should these methods become marginalized, then the scope of available treatments may become reduced and lead to a significant drop in medial progress.

After all, progression and advancement does not need to rely solely on new concepts of methodology. It is simply an application of knowledge to improve a social, technological or medical issue, and it is more the way in which this information is used which is more relevant than its freshness or longevity. Subsequently, established knowledge or medical techniques can remain relevant in the contemporary age, and should not be sidelined on the basis of being traditional or old fashioned.

The Power of Relationships in Healing Disease

Despite the power and increasing diversity of drugs that are available to treat ailments, the power of positive thinking and beneficial relationships have been shown to be key in the recovery of individuals from certain health issues. As a recent study into psychotherapy by the National Institute of Mental Health revealed, maintaining a positive and therapeutic relationship between a therapist and their patient is one of the most effective ways of successfully treating depression, even ahead of modern drug treatments and more cutting edge techniques.

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The Merits of Medical Research and the Population, Part 1

Stem cell research is a topic that has prompted much debate throughout the US in the last decade or so. In particular, it is the use of embryonic cells that has created the most historical discussion, with its opposition claiming that this practice is in direct disregard to legislation which prohibits the creation or the destruction of embryos for the purposes of research. The Bush administration of the US moved to curtail public investment into embryonic stem cell research, forcing private investors to contribute in reproducing the requisite cells.

The current government and its leader Barack Obama is in favor of the research however, and imposed rules in 2009 that allowed these privately funded cells to be used and tested in a controlled and well managed working environment. Subsequently, the Federal court last week gave Mr Obama’s administration the go ahead to continue their funding of embryonic stem cell research, lifting a previous injunction due to the ambiguity of the existing legislation on public spending in the US.

A Matter of Individual Opinion

It is thought that those who oppose embryonic stem cell research may well take their appeal to the supreme court, so the matter is likely to rage for the foreseeable future and beyond. It is a matter of individual opinion, with the previous administration of the US opposed to its practice and the more liberal government of Barack Obama in support of both the research and their role in funding and facilitating it.

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Tackling the Priority issues in the US

As Barack Obama visited the ravaged southern state of Alabama this week, he was confronted by a scene of structural devastation and a local government stretched beyond their means in attempting to support afflicted individuals and families. An estimated 300 people were killed in the series of storms and tornadoes that swept across the southern state belt line last week, with Alabama the most seriously affected ahead of other states including Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia.

As the local government pleaded for more assistance from their federal counterparts, it drew a sharp focus on the perspective of issues in the US, and also highlighted the problems faced by the government as they try to run a progressive and harmonious country. Tragedies such as the one which beset the southern states of the US require instant and significant attention, and subsequently become a priority regardless of the other relevant issues across society.

The Birther Movement and Political Manoeuvres

As the suggestions of the ridiculous ‘Birther’ movement and speculation concerning Mr Obama’s eligibility as president were finally laid to rest this week, so too a rather ugly chapter of political gamesmanship was consigned into history. However, it was unsettling to see an insignificant and covertly malicious suggestion create such an effortless controversy, regardless of its barely disguised motives of racism and political discontent

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The Age of Cyber Theft for Profit

The act of stealing has always been considered as a form of personal violation, especially when an individuals home or personal space is invaded to obtain their possessions. The various modes of theft have diversified over time however, so that it is now far more likely that citizens will become vulnerable to online predators and the machinations of cyber thieves. The remote and anonymous nature of cyber theft makes it extremely difficult prevent, while also providing a degree of security for those who perpetrate it.

We live in the age of the cyber thief, whose aim is to seek both illicit and significant profit through the collection of personal data and financial information. This can be sourced from discarded household bills, poorly protected personal computers or even through the information contained on company specific databases. These can be stolen and traded between relevant parties, and the information can included can lead to the theft of your wealth and financial assets.

Recent Events and the Rise of Cyber Theft

Just last week the new broke that the personal information of over 77 million Playstation users has been exposed, after a computer intrusion compromised and accessed Sony’s relevant customer database. Although the identity or purpose of the thief has not yet been revealed, the most likely answer is that the database was infiltrated by a cyber thief who wished to use the information for financial gain, whether by using the personal information for themselves or illegally selling it on to interested parities.

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Applying Fairness in a Modern Democracy

With the discussions continuing to rage concerning budget reductions and the correct policy of taxation in the US, the issue of fairness within a democracy is coming under an increasing focus. It is something that is entirely subjective to each individual and their own circumstances, and yet is often cited as reasoning when debates ensue about democratic policy and government rule. The issue of subjectivity is something that is difficult to incorporate when attempting to enforce a policy or law within a democracy, and can lead to complication in terms of the decision making process.

Taxation is a case in point, especially in the light of the suggestion that the US government will increase the tax liability of the rich in order to relieve the burden on lower income individuals and households. Backed by Barack Obama, it has instantly won the approval of an estimated 72 percent of the US society, who are in favor of focusing on the top two percent of earners in the country to reduce the vast national deficit. This is where the issue of fairness becomes important, and influences the thinking of voters and government officials alike.

The Processes of a Democracy

Democracy affords each individual member of a society a voice and opinion on any prevalent social issue, which can influence a government in imposing legislation and policy. However, a government cannot satisfy the requirements of each independent voter, and so must therefore make a decision that best suits the opinions and interests of the vast majority of it citizens. This is a slight anomaly that can complicate the process of a democratic regime, as some individuals can unreasonably expect that a democratic government should cater their their specific wants and needs.

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Meeting the Presidential Criteria in the US

Barack Obama has been forced to face several questions surrounding his exact origin of birth since his inauguration as US President, which either reflects a genuine concern or a unwelcome prejudice that lies beneath the surface of the social fabric. As Arizona governor Jan Brewer this week vetoed a bill that would have required presidential candidates prove their eligibility for office, America took a positive step towards challenging the concept of eligibility and also towards focusing their issues on the key issues that currently bight the US.

Although other states are moving forward with similar bills with a view to enforcing them, they are less likely to succeed in the wake of Jan Brewer’s decision and the inevitable protests against racial prejudice, repression and a specific interpretation of eligibility. Given the Arizona states reputation for backing more radical legislation concerning immigration, their stance came as something as a surprise to those who dispute the merits of the the so called ‘Birther’ bill, and raised relevant questions concerning both the existing law and exactly which qualities are important when running a country.

The Right to Set Presidential Qualification Requirements

Of course the US constitution does afford states the right to determine how its representatives are elected, while also allowing them to ensure that their candidate meets existing constitutional qualifications. What it forbids is any state attempting to impose new legislation that forces qualified candidates to refrain from standing for election, as this addition of criteria is unconstitutional and opposes the democratic foundation of the US. What has further confused recent issues is that the relevant article in the US constitution is open to interpretation in terms of being a natural citizen of the United States.

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Is Now the Time for Offenders to Repay Their Social Debts?

Not many issues prompt as much discussion as those that surround judicial procedure and criminal rehabilitation, especially in a society that has a serious problem with overcrowded correctional facilities and restrictions in public expenditure. These are social issues with burden the US at this present time, and are tightly interwoven through the vast sums of public money that it currently takes to maintain the crowded and bustling correctional facilities that are currently in operation throughout the country.

Crime has become something of a social epidemic in recent times, with the last 2 decades seeing the prison population rise by over 1 million inmates. This has unfortunately been the catalyst to the inflated levels of public money that have been invested into building and maintaining correctional facilities, while also accounting for rising amount of tax payer revenue to feed and house the criminal fraternity. With both crime and public spending coming under intense public focus, now is the time to tackle the theories of rehabilitation and how convicted felons should pay their debts to society.

A Case in Point

DC Central operates a Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training program, which is geared specifically towards homeless and previously incarcerated individuals. This is the kind of initiative which has developed in the wake of increased rates of conviction and criminal behavior, and is primarily conceived to give those with a criminal past an opportunity to grow and refrain from re-offending. As this and many similar schemes have a keen basis in the interests of society, they also allow their employees to repay their debts to the society that they once disparaged.

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Taxing the Rich to Aid Recovery in the US

It is a known and accepted fact that Barack Obama’s preferred policy with regards to tax is to increase the liability of the wealthy, while easing that which rests upon the shoulders of low and middle income households. This is a measure that is apparently well supported within the US government, with a vast majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independent representatives all in agreement that individuals or households who earn more than $250,000 per year should bare the brunt of plans to reduce the national deficit.

Not only this, but US citizens also seem to agree that this is the most positive step that their government can take with regards to taxation. The New York Times recently revealed in a poll that an estimated 72 percent of adults approve of increasing federal taxes on households earning $250,000 per year or more, which is a significant portion of the voting demographic in the US. Though this suggests that the government and its subjects are in accordance, there are economic and ethical issues concerning such a practice within a free and democratic land.

A Thriving Economy

From a purely practical standpoint, there are two significant reasons why increasing the tax liability of the rich would be either inconsequential or potentially detrimental to the economy. Firstly, given the effects of the global recession and subsequent recovery, there are a paucity of individuals and households who earn more than $250,000 in the US. This means that by targeting this demographic as opposed to imposing a 1 percent increase on each level of household income, the government will acquire far less reveneue over the next decade than they have the potential to.

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Why Patience is a Virtue When Securing National Prosperity

It is a long standing theory that patience is a virtue, but it is also one which is not readily available in our contemporary culture. As technological advancement has improved the speed and ease with which everyday tasks can be performed, so too an entire generation has become accustomed to being achieving instant gratification and satisfaction. This impatience and demand for swift resolution has influenced our feelings concerning less relevant aspects of our lives, such as relationships, career advancement and also the governments approach to social issues.

Subsequently we live in an age where we expect to see any issue resolved both swiftly and efficiently, regardless of its complexity or significance. Whether we address social problems such as obesity or look to improve the level of diversity within a range of professional or academic fields, society is fairly impatient with regards to the amount of time it is prepared to afford those who seek to effect change and improvement. This not only does a disservice to a nations problem solvers, but also serves to increase social tension and discontentment.

The Current US and Desires for Growth

The current economic and social circumstances that afflict the US undoubtedly need resolving, but these changes must be effected gradually and with a view to long term prosperity. While it is healthy for a nations citizens to desire both local and national growth and advancement, these feelings cannot be allowed to manifest themselves in short term solutions and an over eagerness to ensure a speed rather than a quality of resolution. For any social change to reap benefits, it must be implemented and cultivated over a significant period of time.

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Alcoholism in the Contemporary Age

Alcoholism is something that carries both a national and global concern, and is seemingly becoming prevalent across a younger social demographic. Both the US and UK have had specific incidents recently which have raised concerns about both the attitudes towards drinking and each notions methodology for regulating the consumption of alcohol amongst their citizens. This week was especially prominent, as the US along saw an infant aged 4 treated for alcohol ingestion, while up to 17 states are currently canvasing drinks producers Pabst Brewing Co. to refrain from marketing their beverages to a youthful market.

While the former incident occurred in Chicago and was the latest in a spate of nationwide incidents where children have consumed alcohol in public restaurants, the latter responds to a brand new drink promoted by rapper Snoop Dog. A malt based beverage called Blast, it comes in a variety of vibrant fruit flavors while boasting packaging and marketing material that is suited to a younger audience, yet it actually contains an exceptionally potent 12 percent of alcohol and is stronger than a typical can of beer.

A Lack of Responsible Awareness

The issue of alcohol consumption is not just a problem in the US, and recent events in the UK saw an 8 year old commence treatment for alcoholism after growing up in a family of negligent elders who were heavy and irresponsible drinkers. This may be the formation of a troubling global trend in terms of the social attitudes towards drinking, whereby it may become something entirely anti-social amongst teenagers and young adults. This manifests itself in alternative social issues, such as violent crime and health afflictions.

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How Social Media Can Help Politicians Reach Society

As Barack Obama addressed the audience at a Town Hall event moderated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week, the significance of social media in the contemporary world was partially revealed. Not only did it afford the US leader the chance to address both influential technological innovators and the sites typically young subscriber base, but it could also be seen as a corporeal example of how the government can use new media to engage and excite the voters of tomorrow and effect social change.

Mr Obama used his hour long address to full effect, highlight the significance of scientific education and immigration reform to the technological innovators present, while discussing the virtues of informing and empowering youthful citizens within the boundaries of a democracy. His use of Facebook as an example to support the freedoms now afforded to citizens was key, as this is vindication for the site and social media as a whole entity. Given the efforts of social media brands to evolve their services, this is a critical signpost in their signpost.

The Changing Face of Social Media

Mr Obama is known to be a great fan of American innovation, as he believed this is the result of a freedom of thought that is synonymous with the US. Having cited Facebook in previous addresses, it is easy to see why he is so positive in his assessment of social media and their benefit to society. In 2010, Facebook became the most frequented online global resource, surpassing Google on the way to securing 500 millions users worldwide. This is a reflection of how it has evolved since its inception in 2004, and its progression from being a social network to becoming a core part of business and marketing strategies.

choice cyber bullying democracy Discussions Facebook family federal government ideologies. News News, information, issues, discussions, solutions. News, information, issues, discussions, solutions. online online revolution people politics relationship relationships rights social circumstances social conduct social demand social issues social media Taking Charge of Social Conduct taking charge of social conduct 2 Taking Charge of Social Conduct Part 2 technological advancement the rise of cyber bullying US citizens US government

Taking Charge of Social Conduct Part 2

If we accept that the US government do not do enough to change their laws to combat social conduct, then it is important to understand a corporeal example of this. Perhaps one of the most relevant is the rise of cyber bullying, which sees young and vulnerable individuals threatened and abused by anonymous offenders. It has come to prominence in the wake of increased technological advancement and the unlimited access that individuals have to it, and has afforded bullies the opportunity to operate remotely and beneath the guise of anonymity.

A recent case in North Andover has exemplified this perfectly. A young girl who had both suffered from and beaten cancer before the age of 11, she began to receive texts and emails which threatened both her mental and physical well being. After missing a period of school and finding herself cowed by fear, she eventually discussed the situation with her parents and dismissed their fears that she was once more unwell. After reporting the details to the police, an investigation revealed that the perpetrator was one of the victims closest friends, who had used technology to disguise her contact details to harass and intimidate her.

A New Threat to Personal Security

This is a prime example of a relatively new but significant threat to individual safety and well being, and one that has no accepted precedent as a consequence. In this particular case, the perpetrator received a course of counselling and a set amount of community service, although this has been dismissed by the parents of the victim as inadequate and derisory. Regardless, a clear and stringent consequence for those found guilty of cyber bullying must be implemented, both to protect potential victims and act as a deterrent to those who look to perpetrate it.

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Taking Charge of Social Conduct

If the citizens of a democratic nation begin to abuse the liberties they are afforded, at what point should a government take decisive action? Undoubtedly the US federal government exist to regulate society through law and guidance, and have a duty to protect the social fabric from the actions of individual citizens. So in instances where accepted laws or freedoms are being taken advantage of to the detriment of society, there is an argument that the government should take steps to change their rules of operation.

Creating a More Structured Social Environment

It should be said that changing laws to create a more structured social environment does not change the approach of a democracy. What it does is still empower citizens but in a far more considered way, and introduces an element of accountability for individuals and their actions. The act of restructuring the social element of the US would help to tackle many health and behavioral issues, notably those concerning smoking, obesity and anti-social conduct, and ultimately create a more productive and content generation of citizens.

Smoking is a relevant example, especially given the level of statistics and information that exist on its practice and consequences. Despite the fact that the decline in the number of high school children and adolescents who smoke has slowed in the last 3 years, and the eminent research that suggests that smoking addiction is more likely to develop during these formative years, most US states employ a minimum purchasing of 18. This, like the UK’s legislation that allows individuals older than 16 to buy cigarettes, is outdated and not reflective of the damage that smoking can do.

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Obesity as a Worldwide Epidemic

If there were any proof needed to support the current epidemic of obesity that is sweeping the globe, then it can be found through a recent case reported in China. A four year old boy, who weighs a staggering 136 pounds, has been offered free and potentially life saving treatment by a clinic in Hong Kong, with a view to preventing any long term health issues in his future. Doctors have stepped in after the case was brought to national attention through the media, and have ran an extensive number of tests to determine the existence of any underlying causes for the child’s condition.

Despite conducting an investigation that was both labored and considered, doctors have found no medical condition that could have acted as the trigger to the child’s obesity. While this is good news in terms of the child’s long term potential for recovery, it places the responsibility for his state of being firmly at the door of his parents, who allowed him to gradually eat his way into obesity. Yet there appears to be a reluctance to scrutinize his parents conduct throughout the affair, despite the fact that their behavior has put the health and well being of a young child at risk.

The Worldwide Growth of Obesity

The issue of obesity is a global one, and it is becoming increasingly prominent in numerous cities worldwide. It is estimated that obesity has risen to as high as 20 percent in some Chinese cities, as well as continuing to increase in other advanced and educated countries such as the US, UK and France. Its rise is worrying in the extreme, and if this trend continues it may well challenge tobacco as the single largest threat to individual health for the next generation.

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When a Society Mistrusts Their Government

Trust is one of the key facilitators that allows a government to prosper, as it is the trust invested by voters that brings a regime into power and enables them to serve the needs of a society. Where this trust becomes diminished, there is a severe danger that citizens will become cynical towards the government and political function as a whole, and create an environment where every political movement is viewed with mistrust and apprehension. It is not only government and politicians who contribute to this situation however, as modern and new media types play an increasingly significant role in the forming of opinion and political viewpoint.

With the online revolution and the subsequent explosion of news websites on the World Wide Web, there are a vast number of daily bulletins and articles for a user to absorb. The competitive nature of these sites and their output can occasionally take hold however, and see content that is published with a view to generating interest rather than educating the reader. This can lead to a situation where stories that cover a similar topic are published on different sites, and contradict each other both on the basic facts and the subjective view of their individual writer.

Mistrust for Political Powers

Senator Jon Kyle’s assertion concerning Planned Parenthood and their function was at the heart of recent controversy, as he claimed that abortions accounted for 90 percent of their overall work. However, as this figure was vehemently disputed and revealed to be closer to 3 percent than Mr Kyle’s original suggestion, his office rallied to issue a support of his actions. They claimed that his words were ‘not intended as a statement of fact’, and caused a public and media outcry that has resonated since.

Mr Kyle has subsequently become the subject of much political discussion and satire, and prompted a serious debate as to the integrity of political assertions in the contemporary age. If his words, issued through CNN and with the purpose of making a serious argument to reduce the organizations federal funding, were not intended to be factual then it is very difficult to understand their exact relevance. More likely, it appears that he has made an ill informed and generalized statement in the belief that there would be no significant consequence.

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Should Special Schooling Exist for Young Mothers?

Unplanned and teenage pregnancy is a rising problem in the contemporary world, and is one of the core issues that lends its burden to the social fabric of the US. The challenge facing the government and educational bodies is how to reverse this trend, and which methodology is the most suitable to encourage a more responsible and considered attitude amongst teenagers towards sexual activity. Not only this, but a healthy balance must also be created to protect the current generation of young mothers within society, and ensure that their own education and future is secured.

However, the question is just how far the US government and teaching facilities should go towards assisting teenage mothers, as offering widespread support could serve to vindicate the decision to indulge in unprotected sex in the first instance. An example can be witnessed with Westport TAPP (Teenage Parent Program) School, which is a Georgia based facility that offers special education to teenage mothers, and ensures that their circumstances to not drive them out of education altogether and also helps them to reclaim a sense of normality and everyday function in their lives.

Diminishing the Consequences of Unprotected Sex

The school itself offers 4 individual components, which serve to create a practical environment for young mothers while also educating them in social theory and conduct. By combining standard curriculum material with a social services component and Co-op child development center, it can diminish the impact that child raising can have on an adolescents burgeoning life, and allow them to continue to strive towards their own ideals of individual attainment. This type of function is considered both necessary and beneficial in contemporary society, and is a specific response to the many issues created by teenage pregnancy.

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The Right to Vote and US Citizens

The right to vote is a freedom afforded by democratic rule, and has seen many civil conflicts fought to establish or maintain its integrity. While different social demographics have historically been denied this right on the grounds of race or sex at some time or another, the contemporary idea of democracy is inclusive of all individual factions and their belief systems, and seeks to discriminate against no single group or social circumstance. However, if we accept that the idea of voting is a privilege afforded by democracy, then there is an argument to ensure that citizens have earned and appreciate this right.

Balancing Democracy With the Well Being of the Country

While it is undoubtedly undemocratic and abhorrent to discriminate against voters on the generic grounds of race or sex, this is because it degenerates a specific social group without genuine purpose or foundation. However, this does not necessarily mean that every individual should automatically be afforded the right to vote, especially where they have chosen to segregate themselves from general society or hold divisive views that oppose the principles of democratic rule.

A similar logic applies to those who have a minimal interest in or knowledge of politics, who although retain the right not to vote are often pressurized by social expectation to do so. In this instance, individuals may vote without a broad or appreciable understanding of the prevalent social issues, which means that their input is misdirected and that the chosen government of the US may not be a reflection of their true support. Put simply, the drive to ensure that citizens vote could prove to be detrimental to the integrity of the final result.

Any of these circumstances can deter the course of democracy, and create a situation where the elected government regime is either unrepresentative or reflects the interests of those opposed to democracy. What the US and other democratic nations therefore need to assess is whether allowing everyone the right to vote is in the interests of society as a whole, and whether creating stipulations for eligibility could ever be enforced in a liberal rule. What must be elevated above all else is the integrity of the election process, and the importance of selecting a desired government.

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Rising Gas Prices and the Cycle of Economic Growth

With gas prices set to rise beyond the $4 mark across the US, citizens are finding themselves trapped within a vicious cycle of economic hardship. The current price, which is based on the inflated cost of oil, has already risen to its highest point since July 2008, and economists are predicting that that $4 price for gas may take hold nationwide throughout July and August. This, in line with high unemployment and increased cuts in public expenditure, is creating the likely prospect of the nations economy grinding to a shuddering halt.

The Factors in Economic Growth

There are two significant factors which drive capitalist economic growth. The first of these is enterprise, and the investment in businesses that to allows them to expand their operations and hire new staff. This then follows in to the second factor, which is consumer activity and the revenue that citizens reinvest into the economy. By itself, this is the single most important influence on the financial growth of the US, but it is in part reliant on an environment where people are able to work and earn a regular salary.

In an environment where both independent enterprise and consumer spending is hindered, it creates a distinct cycle of economic hardship. This is debilitating for both the federal government and private sector growth, but also has a deep and perpetual impact on the day to day existence of citizens. As is typical with these types of circumstance, one factor often influences the other, so as long as citizens are unable to find employment and earn any semblence of disposable income, so too they are forced to reduce their levels of expenditure and tighten their financial belts.

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The Rights of Local Government to Influence Law

The model of American government is fairly unique, and significantly different to other democratic nations across the western world. Though the federal government retains ultimate power, beneath its wings are the law makers and governors of 50 individual and somewhat independent national states, who are able to wield an influence that is shaped by their own perceptions and ideals. While this may be generally seen as something positive which prevents the federal government from imposing an authoritarian will, it has and will continue to cause issues where local legislation differs vehemently from the values of the Whitehouse.

Tackling Arizona’s Immigration Law

This internal conflict was reflected by recent events in Arizona this week, where a federal appeals court affirmed a previous injunction imparted on the states much debated immigration law. The law, which would empower local law enforcement officers to detain suspected illegal immigrants and help in their eventual deportation, was delayed last year after Barack Obama’s administration sued while claiming that the process of apprehending and deporting immigrants is the sole responsibility of the federal government.

After being prevented at the 11th hour last year and now delayed for the longer term, Arizona state officials are considering their options and are expected to issue a petition to the Supreme Court of the US. Their argument remains strong and considered, and claims that their proposed legislation is a response to the inability of federal government to secure the nations borders and effectively manage immigration. Given the negative consequences that illegal immigration can reap within communities, they clearly feel that they have a duty to protect their citizens accordingly.

However, they appear to be in a minority, and even influential

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Parenting While Maintaining Individual Health

There is no doubt that creating and nurturing a life is one of the most valuable things that an individual can do with their time, and it is something which continues the essential cycle of life and existence. However, it is also an exceptionally difficult activity, and requires the considered devotion of both time and finance in order to raise a child successfully. With this in mind, it soon becomes increasingly difficult for new parents to maintain their own health and well being while caring for an infant, which can cause serious consequences in their short and long term futures.

Interestingly, a recent study conducted by the Paediatrics journal revealed that mothers rather than fathers are baring the physical brunt of child care, although both receive reduced levels of nutrition and exercise when compared to their childless contemporaries. The detailed study, which followed an approximate 1500 high school students into adulthood, revealed that the women who became parents subsequently consumed over 400 calories more per day than childless women of the same age and demographic.

A Question of Time

The primary issue seems to revolve around time, both in terms of mothers not being able to prepare a health conscious meal and also being unable to exercise accordingly. This creates a distinct imbalance with regards to the volume of calories consumed and the levels of subsequent physical activity, and leads to the individual becoming increasingly vulnerable to various health issues such as obesity. Although it may be argued that this is part of the personal sacrifice required to raise an infant child, it benefits nobody if the mother falls ill or suffers health issues as a consequence.

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Capitalism within a Democracy

As a budget agreement was finally reached at the 11th hour on Friday, so too the US nation breathed a collective sigh of audible relief. While public sector workers and the families of military representatives celebrated the late resolution, so too government officials assured citizens that they would learn from the lessons of a poorly administered budget. However, given the revelation that top senate officials would have continued to receive pay while those beneath them felt the force of any partial government shutdown, questions have been raised about the influence of capitalism within a democracy.

Capitalist Values in a Democratic Society

The idea that the powerful should continue to receive their pay while those who they serve are left temporarily without salary epitomizes the very worst of capitalism, where influence dictates the distribution of a nations wealth. This notion is troubling enough in a focused and dedicated democratic power, but it is even more worrying when you consider that these individuals in question were responsible for the prolonged budgetary negotiations in the first instance.

Now, this does not mean that capitalism or its principles are divisive in society, or entirely opposed to those which exist in democracy. After all, capitalism supports the freedoms of of enterprise and unlimited trade, and affords individuals the tools to design, create and operate their own business entity. Not only this, but such a concept gifts these individuals the opportunity to shape their own financial destiny, and take tentative steps to becoming the job creators of the next generation.

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How Social Media Has Changed Political Activism

Regardless of its original purpose or aspirations, there is no doubt that social media has changed the landscape of social and political activism. As its popularity has grown amongst both renowned and everyday users, so too it has developed a wider range of tools to assist professional and organized applications rather than the mere basics of social interaction. This evolution has seen social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter become perfectly placed for those without authority to voice their opinions and plan group collaborations and organized protests.

From Humble Origins

Undoubtedly, Facebook has set the prevailing trends in social media, and is the model from which other similar outlets take their leave. From its clear and humble origins as a social mediator and connector of faded friendships, it has mastered the tools of remote interaction before stepping authoritatively into the interwoven worlds of business and politics. Considering that it has only existed for over 5 years, this evolution of its services has been both swift and exceptionally well directed.

Twitter has adopted a similar patter on growth, and has broadened its appeal both in terms of available services and its user demographics. While initially considered something as a novelty consideration endorsed chiefly by celebrities and renowned entities, it has become a viable medium for the whole of society to share their thoughts, activities and concepts of enterprise. Twitter, like Facebook, has taken great strides to lend itself to the needs of corporate and political groups, and now forms the basis of many successful business marketing and government campaigns.

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Investing in Education Rather than Correction

Once the US emerges from its current financial circumstances, and strives once more for economic prosperity, the hope remains that its government can carry with them the lessons learned from their experiences. As negotiations continue to stall and fail reach a budget resolution for 2012, the law makers and politicians of the country must resolve to never let such a state of affairs develop again, and create an expenditure plan that is both considered and reflects the best interests of society.

Interestingly, there are certain factors of government who are looking to do this at present, by attempting to reduce the funding for prison and correctional facilities and reinvesting this capital into the nations education. As California governor Jerry Brown this week signed a bill to transfer thousands of non violent felons from state prisons to more relaxed county jails, so too a significant step was made to close certain correctional facilities and redirect government funding into educational programs and schools.

A Time for Change

The spending statistics are damning indeed. In the 2 decades between 1990 and 2010, the US prison population has soared by over 1 million individuals, and prompted even more funding to be invested in building and expanding correctional facilities to handle the increasing capacity. Within this period, state spending on prisons climbed by nearly 130 percent, which is an astonishing and troubling six times higher than the total rate of expenditure committed to education.

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The US Government Facing Federal Shutdown Part 2

Yesterday we discussed the current stalemate facing the US government, and the potential for a federal shutdown that would have a discernible impact nationwide. However, while opposing factions of government and personal persuasion are having a stalling effect on the negotiations, it is interesting to consider exactly what the consequences would be should a resolution fail to be reached by midnight on this coming Friday.

Of course he concept of a federal government shutdown, whether it be partial or more widespread, is one that causes great concern for citizens. However, it is a rather vague and ill defined notion, and one that gives little indication as to the exact implications for society at large. So, what would be the immediate or long term consequences of enforced government inactivity, both in terms of the nations financial performance and the welfare of its workers and citizens?

The Financial Implications for a Nation

Financially, the partial closure of government institutions would be especially troublesome, and would create specific issue with regards to tax assessments and the funding of public sector ventures and small business enterprises. In a depressed fiscal climate, the forced inactivity of public sector bodies and their workers will only serve to slow the processes of economic recovery, and create an unhealthy cycle of increasing unemployment and subsequent closure of small and independent businesses.

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The US Government Facing Federal Shutdown

Of all the uncertainties that exist in the contemporary world, you would not include the function of your government as being amongst them. Regardless of the popularity of it’s actions or the results of their decision making processes, the government are omni-present in our day to day existence, making conscious and considered strides towards a state of sustained prosperity. However, as democratic and republican representatives failed to reach a budgetary agreement this week, the US is now facing up to the prospect of a partial federal shut down.

The US government have until midnight on Friday to reach an adequate compromise, and ultimately present a clear and concise expenditure plan to ease the nation through its period of economic recovery. However, with warring political factions at odds over the course the country should take and who is responsible for the vast budget shortfall, an agreement seems to be moving further away from the grasp of those who seek to protect the citizens of the US.

An Need for Compromise

Significantly, both parties are opposed in exactly how to reduce the budget deficit, and which areas of public spending should be cut to negate the crippling economic shortfall. While this is understandable when you consider the conflicting principles of each party and their own individual interests, this verbal war of attrition is influenced by other less relevant factors. Of these, the apportioning of blame and responsibility for the nations fiscal woes appears as the most significant.

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How Relationships Hold the Key to Multiculturalism

The nature and scope of relationships have changed dramatically in the contemporary world, and this evolution has seen the gradual integration of different cultures within single family units. This progression is significant, and offers a portent of how the individuals of the world can subsist in a global and multicultural harmony. If you assess the variable stages of cultural integration through the ages, then you see that we are simply at the next step of social advancement, on the long and troubled path towards a multicultural society.

How Racial Integration has Changed Over Time

Society has witnessed a gradually changing attitude towards race relations, from certain factions suffering oppression to their acceptance and subsequent integration into opposing cultures. This transition has seen many instances of violence and tragedy, as those who have fought for racial equality have often given their lives to ensure that prejudices were eradicated from the social fabric. This period has led to the current social climate, which although still carries a distinct threat of racial discrimination, does at least see that multiculturalism is supported on a federal level.

Historically, different cultures and creeds would subsist in specific geographical locations, and the idea of racial integration was not even a logistical consideration. However, as individuals and families began to emigrate and move between different countries, mixed racial groups were formed within the boundaries of single nations. The US in particular was a particularly attractive outlet for those seeking new pastures, and so became a haven for a meld of cultures and separate racial groups.

However, although different cultures subsisted within

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Honoring the Victims of 911

The tragedy of the September 11th attacks is something that will never truly dissipate, even through the relentless march of time and progress, and its effects are still felt on a significant level by the families of all involved. Subsequently, there are occasional instances or situations which prompt an emotional response from the survivors and the families of the dead, and stir painful memories of the loss they have endured. While these are regrettable, they remind a nation and a government the importance of handling any affairs affiliated with 911 with the care and attention they require.

A New Memorial for 911 Survivors

This week, as plans were announced to house the unidentified remains of those who died at ground zero in the lower level of a commemorative museum, protests erupted from afflicted family members and advocates who claimed they were not consulted by US authorities concerning the exact location of the repository. This is at odds with the assertions of the US government, who maintain that dialogue has been going with the respective families since 2006, and that the response they have received has largely been positive.

Put simply, protesters have claimed that such a decision can not be made without the express permission of each and every family member, regardless of whether a majority consensus feels that the plans are both wise and well considered. In addition, there are further concerns that the main entrance to the museum is the same one which will grant mourners access to the repository, although the designers have taken great care to assert that the two are entirely separate entities. Despite this, some of the families have already revealed their support for the plans, claiming them to be respectful and designed to be sensitive to mourners needs.

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Gay Rights and Encouraging Tolerance

If the world is ever to exist in harmonious accord, then there are several qualities that individuals must adopt as part of their everyday conduct. Of these, tolerance is perhaps the most significant, as it is only through the acceptance of different lifestyle choices and cultures that we may all subsist within a single space or time. This theory applies to every diverse aspect of life and living, from religious beliefs and creed to the less fundamental aspects of sexual orientation and nurtured principles.

Gay Rights in the Military

In order to encourage tolerance amongst civilian sections of society, the leading institutions and organizations of a country must be required to lead by example, and promote the virtues of acceptance and understanding. To this end, any government or public sector organization and military faction must take great care to treat their representatives as equal individuals, and not discriminate against any specific race or lifestyle choice.

However, the military in the US has always had a chequered history when it comes to enforcing the principles of equality, especially with regards to their representatives sexuality and sexual preferences. Until recently, the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) legislation was prominent in the United States, and its essence prevented any military representative from disclosing their sexual orientation or displaying any overt inclination towards homosexual activity. In addition, it prevented any senior officers or contemporaries from making enquires as to a fellow soldiers sexuality.

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Elevating Law Above Religion

Despite the advancing nature of many aspects of modern society, there are occasionally instances of brutality or insensibility that belong in a past and less informed age. In the far more liberal and knowledgeable state of existence that we enjoy, the mere concepts of corporal punishment or public executions are simply abhorrent, and have no rightful place within the environment of a forward thinking civilization. Despite this, these activities still occur, and raise serious questions as to whether governments should do more to instruct and regulate religious practice.

The global community was saddened by recent incidents in Bangladesh, where a 14 year old girl lost her life after a public and particularly brutal flogging. After an allegation of adultery and seeking a physical relationship with a married man, the village elders in her small, rural parish passed a ruling and a religious ruling was passed by the local mosque. For this suggested and unproven act of immorality, she was sentenced to 101 lashes of a whip, collapsing after 70 and losing her life in hospital 1 week later.

A Judgement Without a Hearing

Bangladesh is considered to be a fairly temperate and democratic country, adopting contemporary values and a liberal method of rule towards it’s citizens. This, alongside the fact that the Supreme Court outlawed Fatwas and any relevance of religious jurisdiction over a decade ago, should suggest that instances such as this were consigned to an ugly and becoming fragment of history. However, it has been suggested that there have been more than 500 instances of such punishments for similar crimes within that time, but have remained covert as those afflicted have been loathe to upset their village elders or local religious leaders.

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The Growing Threat Towards Personal Security

To some, technological progression is integral to the development of society and the continued aspiration to improve our general standard of living. In conjunction with scientific evolution, advanced technology and its applications can create opportunities for great enhancement with regards to everyday existence, gradually helping to prolong life and improve its overall quality. Opinion varies still further with regards to how far technology may evolve in the future, especially as its pace of progress continues to intensify through the advancement of time.

However, there are others who would cite caution with regards to technological progress, especially due to our overwhelming reliance upon it and its increasing prominence in our everyday lives. Not only this, but there are additional concerns regarding each individual’s safety and vulnerability to the intricacies of online media, as every advancement in software and digital applications creates additional threats of identity theft. Technology has played a significant part in creating a whole new methodology of fraudulent theft and crime, offering perpetrators anonymity as they commit their offences.

A New Threat to Online Security

This week, the news broke that Google were finalizing an application that would allow face recognition from a simple photograph, and offer the facility for users to access the captured individuals personal information. The application is supposedly at an advanced and well developed stage, although a release date has not been announced as yet by the organization. While there are some existing development issues to resolve, there are further delays concerning the nature of how the application will work without compromising users safety or security.

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The Right to Strike for Working Conditions

Historically, public sector employees have always retained the right to strike in order to secure better pay and working conditions, especially when faced with unfavourable government policies or proposed legislation. However, the current economic circumstances of the US may soon make this a thing of the past, as governors are forced to cut their states budget shortfall by bringing public sector employee rights adjacent with those afforded by the private sector. However, while public expenditure must be cut to improve the nation’s overall budget deficit of $1.5 trillion, should it really come at the cost of fundamental employee bargaining rights?

Ohio state legislature this week passed a bill to limit employee’s collective bargaining rights by banning them from striking and also allowing them to refuse to pay their union dues. The primary reasoning behind the idea is to reduce the local governments burden and financial costs, serving the dual purpose of reducing their deficit while also enabling them to compete against more prosperous job creating states. In its is essence it is a logical plan for long term growth, and easily understandable when you understand the recent events in the city of Detroit and throughout many of the southern states of America.

The State Against the Individual

This situation is a textbook example of the main challenge that faces government in a democratic regime, as they are often unable to satisfy the needs of individuals and single groups while also acting in the interests of society as a whole. In this instance, economic regeneration is the best and most suitable methodology for creating prosperity in the state of Ohio, and this can be achieved through reducing public sector expenditure without losing jobs from organizations. Though clearly a way forward for the state as a single entity, it is has already been construed as an elevation of corporate interests above those of the common man.

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The Spectre of Racism in Contemporary Society

Many democratic governments of today pride themselves on the measures they have implemented to challenge racism in their society, and will point to the reduced instances of racial abuse of hate crimes over the last 2 decades as evidence of their success. However, as news this broke this week that the police were investigating a wooden cross being burned outside the house of a mixed raced citizen in California, there is concern as to whether racism has been eroded from the social fabric or is merely lurking with intent beneath its cover.

More pointedly, it is fair to enquire as to whether governments have successfully challenged racist attitudes and theory, or simply forced its perpetrators to become more covert and organized in their operations. As the social climate has changed since the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, racism has been become increasingly unacceptable in society, but whether it’s values have been entirely rejected is debatable. One thing is for sure, and that is that racism will always been a feature of any society regardless of its meld of cultures or appreciation of knowledge.

Racism Through the Ages

Hostility or persecution between different races has existed since the dawn of civilization, with alternative epochs of time seeing different creeds, cultures and religions targeted by others. Historically, racism could be considered as being largely focused on religious groups and beliefs, as the absence of global interaction and multiculturalism meant that people of different cultures and skin colors did not mix within geographical locations. However, as immigration increased and America in particular became a weave of mixed culture, different creeds were forced to live together creating resentment and overt hostility.

Capital Punishment and it’s Place in a Democracy

Capital punishment is something that has encouraged debate for years, even as it has become less and less prominent within democratic society. Many liberal and forward thinking nations have abolished it entirely from their judicial process, whereas many states within the US themselves no longer support execution as a consequence of criminal conduct. Though it is a diminishing concept, its existence still draws strong and divided opinions, especially as to whether it has any place at all in a civilized society.

The Dangers of Capital Punishment

Despite the increasing redundancy of capital punishment, there are those who still campaign for its place in the contemporary world, and cite the perpetual rise of violent crime and anti-social behavior as a basis for their arguments. Not only this, but it is promoted in some quarters as a resolution to overcrowded prisons and correctional facilities, especially as a method of dealing with criminals who may be beyond rehabilitation. The supporters of capital punishment make a clear distinction between those who are civilized and those who are not in a democratic society, and see execution as a way of protecting law abiding citizens.

These arguments are hard to dispute on certain levels, as capital punishment certainly would have a physical effect on reducing the criminal fraternity’s number, while also making a concise statement that the safety of well meaning citizens is above all else in society. However, there is far more dispute to be had on an ideological and factual level, especially in terms of the attitude it cultivates within society and its effectiveness as a deterrent of crime. Above, these raise serious concerns as to the place of capital punishment within a democracy.

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War and the Advancement of Technology

Since the dawn of time, individuals and groups have settled their disputes through acts of war and violence. Although the nature and methodologies of war have changed, the devastating consequences on civilians and society remains the same, with billions of people having given their life in the name of their cause of country. Now into the 21st century, we remain no closer to subsisting in a state of peace and harmony, despite the many advances that have been made in terms of liberty, knowledge, technology and science.

The Changing Faces of War

Considering that the first recorded war took place in 27AD, the concept of armed and unarmed conflict is one of the true constants of our existence, although the current guise of war is largely unrecognizable to the ones that subsisted before. In terms of historical wars, they were largely civil and fought within a nation’s boundaries, with a view to settling power disputes that often concerned politics, territory or religion. Very rarely did conflicts traverse into international waters, and the main purpose of a navy or military unit was to protect the peripheries of the nation that they represented.

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Parenting and its Impact on Children

There is nothing more joyous in this world than creating and raising a life, and it is inevitably one of the more rewarding things that an individual can do within their own existence. However, there are instances where circumstances can make the raising of a child extremely fraught and emotional for all parties involved, and the way in such a situation is handled can have a long standing and potentially divisive effect on an infants upbringing. These circumstances ask many ideological questions about parenting and the morality of raising children, especially in the case where one parent is stricken or absent from the family home.

This week, a Californian judge ruled that a mother who had been severely disabled during child birth should be granted visitation rights to her three young children. This ruling was the result of a protracted legal battle between the woman’s husband and her parents, with the husband requesting that she be denied visitation rights on the basis that she was unable to communicate or interact with her children, or participate in any decision making processes regarding their upbringing. The husband, who had been granted sole custody of the children during the process, has maintained his view point and feels that any visitation will be detrimental to their development.

The Rights of a Responsible Guardian

The case has generated much discussion, with the subsequent ruling considered to be precedent setting in situations of this type. Essentially, and judgement has been passed which does it’s bests to satisfy all of the parties involved, without losing sight of the emotional and physical needs of the children. This factor, above any other, must be considered as the most significant in any such circumstances, as it is ultimately the welfare of vulnerable infants that must be elevated above those of responsible adults.

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Justice and the Protection of Society

Regardless of the country in which we live, there are always international stories and events which help to inform and promote necessary debate amongst society. The online revolution has helped significantly to draw together the people of the world in a global community and achieve this, and made the processes of sharing information and images both easier and more relevant. This week, an incident in Spain has raised significant international dialogue, concerning the accepted ineffectiveness of justice and the increasing risk of reprisal in society.

In Spain, a court has agreed to grant a full pardon to a women who set fire to and killed the convicted rapist of her daughter in 1998. The incident occurred when the felon, who was sentenced to 9 years for his assault on the 13 year old minor, was on an approved 3 day release from his sentence and approached the mother at a local bus stop to enquire about his victims welfare. Indignant, she returned home and acquired some petrol and later accosted him in a bar, before she inflicted the injuries which ultimately caused his death 10 days later.

The Inadequacies of Justice

After being originally sentenced to 7 years in prison, the woman in question had this reduced to 5 years upon appeal, before a 5000 strong public petition and lobbying secured her release after a solitary year in captivity. With a full pardon due to be confirmed shortly, it would seem that the defendant will be absolved of a crime that was allegedly committed in a state of temporary insanity. While much of the discussion has centered on whether victims should ever be allowed to administer a personal brand of justice, more should be done to address the failures of the courts in the first instance.

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Can Democracy Function Amidst Civil Unrest?

When you assess the current circumstances of the US, then you can see a nation that experiencing serious civil unrest, and becoming frayed and battle weary at the seams of its social fabric. As it continues to tackle domestic economical and social issues, in addition to continuing to play a significant mediation role in the affairs of the Middle East, there are growing concerns as to whether its current model of government is equipped to handle such demands.

Undoubtedly, the US has one of the most liberal and diverse set of principles of any global nation, and as a democratic power its core value is the notion of government for the people by the people. While this itself is an aspect of US rule that should not be questioned, it is becoming increasingly strained as individual demands can often not be met by the economic or corporeal resources of the country. Whether it is working pay and conditions, reducing unemployment or tackling violent crime and morality, the needs of the people may be beginning to outweigh the current capacity of the government.

The Needs of the Individual against the Needs of Society

Before we understand this, it is important to note that democracy is the only true and fair way to govern society, and its principles should form the bedrock of any progressive nation. However, as it essentially grants personal freedom and liberty to individual citizens, this allows them to form independent thought processes and opinions and create demand and a certain expectation of living. As these are unique to each person, and developed in the name of personal interests, they can prove to be difficult to satisfy while maintaining the overall needs of society as a whole.

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The Evolution of Cities in the US

Time is relentless, and has presided over a plethora of social and political changes in the US, many of which have been to the benefit of individual citizens and everyday existence. However, while it has seen great advancements in medical and technological progress, it has also witnessed the continued degeneration of once great places and cities, as they have become the victim of social and economic circumstances. Detroit is one such city in the US, and it was reported this week that they have become the only state to suffer a cumulative population loss over the last decade.

The Decline of a City

The figures are starting, especially when you consider the consistent population growth that the US has encountered since the turn of 1990. In the decade between 2000 and 2010, the US Census reported that the population of Detroit decreased from 951,270 to713,777, which is its lowest recorded figure since 1910. This is a stark state of existence for the city, which had a peak population of 1.5 million individuals in 1950 and was once the 4th largest city within the boundaries of the USA. This decline is sudden and vast, and with several different financial and social triggers.

At the turn of the century, Detroit was the heartbeat of the US automotive trade, and this prosperity and purpose caused its population to swell accordingly. Sadly, the recent economic hardship and painstaking recovery put paid to this, and seemingly tore the meaning from a city as well the livelihood of many of its occupants. This has had further consequences on the economic performance of Detroit, and the proposed closure of several state schools may well have been the final straw for many of its dedicated individuals.

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The Resentment of Authority in Contemporary USA

After 2010 saw a 40 percent rise in the death of law enforcement officers in the US, government officials have this week moved to resolve the issue and offer better protection to those who serve their community. Police representatives have come under increasing fire while in the line of duty, and are currently shouldering the burden of a growing unrest and ill conduct that discerns contemporary society. While the vast and unchallenged presence of firearms is undoubtedly significant, there is also the issue of people’s diminishing respect for figures of authority.

Declining Values in Liberal Times

It is all too convenient to attribute the rise in violent crime with the existence of firearms, but this does not make any allowance for human behavior and values. Guns are clearly dangerous and potentially fatal weapons, so there is always likely to be concern and instances of misuse when they are so prevalent within a culture or community. However, were they not to exist, then humans who choose to perpetrate acts of violence would simply find a different methodology, and use this instead to suit their purpose.

So, we must address the values and attitudes of people who use guns, and maximize these findings to cultivate a more socially suitable behavior. If we look at society as a whole, then there is a clear degeneration in the conduct of young adolescents and teenagers, which is reflective of both their environment and a decreasing level of respect for their elders. This individual ethos is conditioned in early childhood, and if encouraged or unchecked then it will manifest itself though violent or anti-social tendencies in later life.

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How Leisure Time Can be Divisive in Society

The concept of stress as an illness rather than an inevitable consequence of a busy lifestyle is a fairly modern consideration, and has no doubt evolved out of the increased knowledge and published findings that exist amongst the archives of the World Wide Web. However, this creates an interesting anomaly, as though portions of society are afforded more luxury, liberty and leisure time than ever before, the instances where stress is cited as a contributor to depression and illness continue to soar. This raises an interesting question about contemporary society, and whether the surfeits of information and leisure may eventually prove debilitating for individuals.

How Increasing Liberty may be Detrimental

Many historians have suggested the leisure and increased liberty have played a significant factor is rising crime rates throughout the centuries, where individuals have been forced to seek a diversity of ways to spend their free time. The insistence is that in more simple times of living, people would work up to 16 hours a day and beyond, leaving little or no time to devote to their own pursuits. Even the act of sex was considered as a purely functional entity rather than one to derive pleasure, and existed to procreate life and breed only.

So, as time and the standard of living has improved, so too leisure and liberty has been handed to individuals, with the result that some have been left feeling adrift, isolated and without purpose. This can be the trigger for various guises of anti social or violent behavior, either as a way to evoke comradeship amongst others or merely to assuage periods of boredom. With this in mind, it is easy to see how the gift of time and leisure can be potentially divisive, especially amongst young or unmotivated individuals.

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Planned Parenthood: A Victim of Circumstance?

As the US desperately seek ways to trim their $1.5 trillion budget deficit before the close of 2011, certain organizations are coming under increased scrutiny with regards their exact need and purpose. Planned Parenthood is one such entity, and has subsisted in the US for decades, despite being at the center of consistent controversy during that time. Now, as an organization that courts direct opposition and receives an estimated $363 million annually from the government, it has emerged as a potential target for expenditure cuts.

Opinion and Criticism

Planned Parenthood has divided opinion in the US for years, and has both staunch supporters and opposition from different individuals and social groups. Those who agree with its presence and purpose feel that it offers and invaluable outlet to pregnant females and families, offering advice and family planning in the strictest of confidence. Conversely, its opposition have claimed that the organization is divisive and carries questionable morality and values, and in essence encourages a casual attitude towards sexual liaison.

The organizations cause has not been helped by recent incidents, which have caused the dismissal of two members of staff and excessive media coverage. In stings conducted by Live Action, one staff member was filmed accepting donations from a racially bigoted donor, while another was captured offering to facilitate birth control and abortions for under-age girls. These incidents were distasteful in the extreme, and have caused an even greater backlash from economists and religious groups nationwide.

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The Place of Firearms in Modern Society

In the contemporary age, we are fortunate to have access to an extensive online source of knowledge and opinion, making it far easier in theory to cultivate behaviour and set a good example to younger members of society. However, when you consider the advancements that society has made in terms of technology and medical science, it appears as though any progression in social conduct and conditions has been painstakingly slow and ineffective by comparison. The question that rises from this is whether individuals within society are failing to learn from history or their contemporaries, or whether the right example is not being set in the first instance.

A good example of this quandary was witnessed in Utah this week, as they finally had a requested law passed to recognize a specific firearm as one of its state symbols. Utah governor Gary Herbert signed and authorized the bill which originated from a colleagues idea, and created a 25th symbol to represent the core principles of the region and its citizens. However, in an age where violent crime is rising and firearms are increasingly used in acts of aggression rather than those of self defence, it could be argued that its inclusion to represent a democratic state is entirely inappropriate.

Morality and the Example of Elders

If we have learned anything from studies of anti social or criminal behavior, then it should be that perpetrators of these types of conduct are often following an example that has been set to them, either by a parent or significant influence in their burgeoning childhood. This is often referred to as learned behavior, involves youngsters and adolescents following their elders and repeating the actions and words that they see being performed on an everyday basis. This not only dictates conduct, but also an individuals morality, values and ethical considerations.

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Learning From Contemporary Models of Successful Rule

As individuals, we are consistently taught about the merits of learning from our experiences and mistakes, with the expectation that we may grow both in terms of our knowledge and behaviour. If we fail to do this, then we must understand that we will subsist in a repetitive cycle of inadequacy, punctuated by sporadic highs and then lows of experience. The same philosophy applies to government rule, and a specific regime is often only as effective as the wisdom that its leaders gain from a countries history.

However, it is not only historical or domestic examples of rule that can influence a governments ideology, as knowledge and effective methodology can also be drawn from other nations across the globe. For a country to advance and continually adapt to an ever changing set of circumstances, a willingness to learn is crucial, as in awareness of its own standing in the contemporary world order. It is the unfortunate case that nations that fail to adhere to these principles often suffer from negative consequences, whether in the guise of social issues or instances of financial difficulty.

Current Examples of Prosperity

An example of the latter can be witnessed in contemporary USA, where the nation faces a series of domestic challenges while attempting to mediate in various international affairs. Given the countries perilous economic state, this diverse balance of activity is not adequately supported by the requisite financial or corporeal resources, which has the inevitable consequence that several aspirations will go unfulfilled. The current situation in the US displays a general lack of awareness, both of its own global standing and contemporary models of successful rule.

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Making Considered and Time Effective Budget Cuts

As the US continues to battle various economic and social issues, there are growing concerns that its leader are falling out of touch with the needs and demands of their people. They undoubtedly have a sizeable amount to deal with currently, especially as they seek to finalise spending plans for 2011 with a financial budget for 2012 required in less than a months time. This lack of cohesion and measured planning is leading to several decisions that may well be considered as rash, all conceived with a view to cutting a vast national deficit.

With the US budget shortfall scheduled to rise to an unprecedented $1.5 trillion throughout 2011, the federal government are faced with the increasingly difficult task of reducing public spending by an amount lowers this deficit without significantly effecting the standard of life for US citizens. This balance is made even more difficult to obtain by a basic rule of economy, whereby a countries prosperity is only as effective as the capital that is invested into it, and governments who reduce spending too drastically will serve to undermine their economy even further.

Timing and Effective Budgeting

Part of budgeting is undoubtedly timing, and preparing a society as effectively as possible for any consequence of spending cuts. This serves the dual purpose of ensuring that any cuts are measured and can be absorbed by citizens without significant impact, while also keeping individuals informed and aware of how budget cuts will effect them directly. While even this is not a policy guaranteed to keep everyone within society satisfied, it does at least mean that the government is doing its best to serve its people and act in a well thought out and transparent manner.

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ATM Fees and the Financial Future

There is an increasing level of financial uncertainty amongst the citizens of the US, a situation which is not helped by indecisive government or an inherent absence of concise fiscal planning. As the federal government continue to debate the details of spending cuts for the coming fiscal year, so too increasingly inappropriate financial fees and charges are being applied to everyday functions, serving only to make a a difficult existence even more troublesome for family units and individuals of the numerous states.

Put simply, a disproportionate burden of the nations debt is been placed upon the shoulders of ordinary citizens, with the inevitable consequence that they are finding it difficult to manage their finances. It is a frequent but distasteful corollary of many recessions, whereby an issue caused in the main by irresponsible government expenditure or lending becomes an issue for the people, leaving them to face economic constraints amidst rising unemployment and social hardship.

Rising ATM Fees in the US

An example of the everyday expenditure issues are hindering the citizens of the US can be witnessed through rising ATM fees, which apply to non customers who use a machine outside of their network. These fees have been in existence for some time, but their continued rise is at odds with the current financial situation facing most of middle class society. Quite aside from the timing, there is a separate issue concerning the methodology utilized by banks and financial organizations, especially those who retain a large amount of ATM’s within a small geographical area.

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The Scourge of Middle America

The US is currently at the mercy of harsh and strained economic conditions, and its middle and lower classes are exposed like at no other time in their recent history. This period of fiscal tumult is also proving a catalyst for alternative social issues, such as benefits protests from public sector workers and a steady rise in national hate groups within the countries boundaries. One of the most significant issues within the contemporary USA is increasing poverty, especially in the face of steadily climbing food and fuel prices, which is threatening to create a significant divide between the north and south of the nation.

The Basics of a Strained Economy

The fiscal circumstances of the current US are of course a reflection of the recent recession and subsequent painstaking recovery. The main issue with a recession of this nature is its presence as a vicious and divisive cycle, that often sees unemployment rise and citizens unable to contribute to an economy. As a consequence, governments are coerced into reducing spending and inflating taxes and prices, creating a situation where basics such as food and drink are more expensive and increasingly out of the reach of struggling citizens.

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The Issues with Crime and Punishment Part 2

If we assess the problems with administrating justice and sentencing within a democratic context, then these issues pale into insignificance when compared to those which concern punishment rehabilitation. The reason for this is that any prison sentence or consequence that is passed down within a democratic rule must be dual purpose, and need to provide a delicate balance between legitimate punishment and rehabilitating the perpetrator.

It is this balance which epitomizes a slight weakness within the armory of democracy, as it attempts to serve as many citizens as possible and in a vast number of individual ways. This aspiration is integral to the ideal of democracy, but it can occasionally create a situation where an individual goal or target can fall short of expectations. In terms of rehabilitation, this means that where a prison environment Is too lenient, a criminal is neither encouraged to repent or reform for their misdemeanors.

Can Punishment and Rehabilitation be Carried out Simultaneously?

This raises an interesting point with regards to the separate entities of punishment and rehabilitation, and whether they can be carried out simultaneously. Although they are individual concepts in their own right, they are closely linked in terms of their relationship and relevance to a perpetrator of crime, and any punishment administered must be harsh enough to provoke thought, remorse and ultimately a desire to reform. Where this punishment fails to be efficient,

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The Issues with Crime and Punishment Part 1

Of all the aspects of a democracy that create debate and consternation, the approach to justice and criminal rehabilitation is one of the more significant. This is chiefly because it has a definitive impact on the well being and security of society, in addition to accounting for a large sum of tax revenue and government expenditure, and also challenges the important issues of morality amongst a nation’s citizens. This not only applies to the morality of the perpetrators of crime, but also the methodology used in administering justice.

There are many different approaches to crime and punishment across the globe, from those based upon democratic principles to others that are primitive and often reflective of a totalitarian rule. The US largely adheres to the former, although some states within the countries boundaries do still employ capital punishment as a consequence of specific types of crime. While the democratic model of justice is one that reflects the best balance of morality and rehabilitation, there are issues with originate from it’s core values.

Admitting Guilt and Reduced Sentencing

As aspect of this is reduced sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea, which remains a feature of existing law regardless of the severity of a crime or its moral implications. This is a longstanding pivot upon which justice veers, and allows perpetrators of crime to escape from the maximum punishment allowed by law through a simple and public admission of their guilt. While this is seen as a partial act of acceptance and also saves crucial tax payers money designated for a trial, the question remains as to whether it has become a largely cynical deed rather than a humanitarian one.

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The Evolving Face of Catholicism

The majority of religions have their roots based in ancient scripture and teachings, and as such are fairly inflexible in various aspects of their culture. However, as technology and accepted knowledge has advanced at an increasing pace, so too many religions have sought to adapt and reflect a more contemporary mindset. While this has been generally considered as beneficial and a significant step in religions maintaining their relevance, it has been questioned in some circles as distasteful and opposed to religious values.

Catholicism is an example of a religion that has long since been considered as inflexible and archaic in its values, until recent times have seen it evolve to cater to a more contemporary view of existence. In addition to modifying its views on abortion and marital union, it has also begun to communicate with followers through Facebook and other social media sites, creating a modern version of the faith that is far removed from its previous incarnation.

Religion and Social Media

The link between Catholicism and social media began in earnest last September, as the Pope visited the UK and the church used the medium to publicize the trip and its details. It has since retained this page and advanced the presence further, creating an additional layout to promote the Pope’s impending beatification in May of this year. This is one of the most significant instances of an established and major religion utilizing online media to reach out to their followers, and has prompted mixed emotions in response.

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The US as a Declining International Force

Traditionally, the US has been revered as one of the most significant national influences across the globe, especially in terms of international affairs and trade. For decades it has led the way in terms of innovative technology, financial growth and cultivating democratic relations with other countries, often with positive and generative effects. However, as the country enters a period of domestic turbulence, there are increasing concerns that it’s influence is diminishing, and that the resident government is stretched too far in attempting to resolve home and international issues.

Resolving Recent International Issues

This is an interesting concept, and poses a question as to whether the nation’s government are caught within a disruptive cycle of indecisive and poorly directed rule. In this instance, this means that the nations governor’s are suffering a collective crisis of confidence in their principles and methodology, and perhaps attempting to meet one challenge too many to restore their sense of self and relevance. For example, the US continue to immerse themselves in international affairs and turbulence concerning Egypt and Libya, while domestic protests and economic issues have continued to spiral and have a negative impact on society as a whole.

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The Coalition of Man and Technology Part 2

Having considered the concept of Singularity in part 1, which refers to a single point in time where technology ascends over nature, it is worth discussing the additional consequences that it may have within society. There is increasing discussion concerning the depth and pace of technological advancement in the contemporary world, especially with regards to the perceived benefits and advantages that it offers to citizens. However, while many of these improvements serve individuals and their independent requirements, there are additional effects which could well impinge upon the well being of collective society as a whole.

Scientific Advancement and the Global Population

A significant aspect of progression concerns scientific advancement, and how medicine can evolve to combat wide ranging health issues such as Cancer or AIDS. In Professor Ray Kurzweils theory of accelerated returns, it is discussed that technology and scientific application will soon emerge as superior to nature, forcing the eventual coalition of man with artificial intelligence and machine within a single body. Many supposed individual benefits would come from this, including an immunity to weight gain and any existing illnesses and diseases, which would ultimately create a generation of citizens who will be assured longevity of life previously unimaginable.

Kurzweil goes even further in his publishing to suggest that mankind may eventually be able to decide when their life should end, and though this seems extreme the gradual eradication of disease through cure or scientifically enhanced human biology would have a similar corollary for individuals. Basically, human beings would be able to exist without illness or issues created by poor nutritional intake or lack of exercise, meaning that death by natural causes would become increasingly rare and occasional. At face value, this could be perceived as the ultimate vindication of technological and scientific advancement, but even this would have negative connotations for society at large

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The Coalition of Man and Technology, Part 1

As we currently live in an age of unchecked technological advancement, it is hard for us to comprehend the speed at which particular developments occur. While we appreciate the changes that are influential in our own daily existences, the larger picture remains somewhat vague and distorted, and it is only if you analyze them from afar that you realize the vast nature of metamorphosis. Then, you see a subtle but significant increase in the speed of change over a consistent period of time, with the result that we may soon entering an epoch of time where nature is overwhelmed by technology.

This may seem farfetched, but it is a theory which is well considered in academic circles. Professor Ray Kurzweil has made this study his life’s work, and he believes that machines and computers will soon be completely superior to human entities, leading into the emergence of artificial intelligence and the coalition of mankind and technology within a single being. Given the already significant and appreciable speed at which technology continues to advance, it is argued that by as early as 2050, human beings may be able to shape shift, control their nutrition and life free from disease for as long as they desire.

The Concept of Singularity and Rapid Technological Growth

The reason put forward for this is referred to as Singularity, which describes a single moment of time whereby machines advance beyond their human creators and into the ascendancy. This is based on a theory of accelerating returns, which states that technology has been developing at a steadily increasing rate since the beginnings of time, and is set to explode out of all accepted proportion in the coming years. This will see technological advances spiral beyond any semblance of human control, and eradicate the steady and linear lines of progression expected by social analysts and economists.

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Why Society Must Refrain from Marginalizing Muslims

Individual human nature is a strange entity, and can often influence behaviour in the worst and most divisive ways imaginable. It is curious, and is itself often colored by personal experience, environment and the example set by elders. The problems arise where a negative perception is created that concerns a specific group or demographic within society, which can lead to prejudice and the very worst kind of religious or racial intolerance. In addition to this, it is rare for the perception to be accurate in its detail, leaving a suspicion or dislike that is unique to a personal experience rather than a social group.

The Advent of Religious Extremism

In America this week, Republican representative Peter King has courted controversy by calling for hearing to discuss what he describes as the radicalization of Muslims throughout the entire nation. Regardless of any logic or thought that has gone into his campaign, he has drawn staunch criticism from various bodies by singling out the Muslim faith, despite his initial claims that many different factions of society maybe vulnerable to such extremism. While some support his assertions as courageous and necessary, others see it is a deliberate campaign to marginalize the Muslim faith within the US.

While Mr King is right to assert that radicalization is a serious and potentially dangerous element within contemporary society, it is certainly not specific to a single religious group or faith. It is more a reflection of the strained financial and cultural circumstances that exist in the country, as the continuing processes of integration and economic recovery create a society that is uneasy and unsure of their immediate future. Subsequently, any act or discussion which serves to isolate a specific culture or religion can only have a negative impact upon the society where it subsists.

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Are US Citizens Trapped in a Disruptive Cycle?

Many of the social issues that trouble society are interlinked, and heavily affiliated with everyday interactions. This can create problems in the way that individuals spend their day to day existence, especially where they have a pre-conceived notion of fear that restricts them in their chosen pursuits. This could well be considered as a disruptive and potentially divisive social cycle, and one which can have a negative impact on the overall perception, health and collective abilities of society.

Restrictions in Child Health

An excellent example of this social cycle can be seen in the level of childhood obesity in the US, which is continuing to rise and become an epidemic throughout the nation. This is something which is affecting many western cultures, especially those which encourage specific freedom of thought and deed, and has many possible causes cited for its increase. However, very rarely is the root cause discussed or identified, and many misconceptions exist that concern the role of parents in this issue.

Parents are often criticised for allowing their children expansive access to video games, and not encouraging them to socialize or indulge in additional outdoor pursuits. However, while they are considered as lazy or ill informed guardians, it is possible that their willingness to let their children spend excessive amounts of time indoors is partly due to trepidation. This fear could be attributed to violent crime or instances of child abuse, but regardless of its cause its manifestation can be seen through their conduct towards their children.

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The Safety of Society from Sex Offenders

Any story that concerns he sexual abuse of a child is tragic in its composition, regardless of the perpetrator or their number of youthful victims. However, there are cases which push the limits of human comprehension, especially those where the perpetrator was in a position of trust or respectability. This issue epitomises the importance of regulating these criminals when they are active within society, as they are naturally drawn to jobs or occupations where they are able to interact with children and minors.

With this in mind, it is something of a surprise that many former priests accused of child abuse are able to live unmonitored across the states of the US, despite the fact that many have admitted to their crimes at various junctures in time. The reason for this is that their crimes have either remained unproven in law or were conducted so long ago that the statute of limitations had expired long before the victims cam forward and shared their stories. Subsequently, these offenders are allowed to live without restrictions or supervision, regardless of the potential dangers to society.

Serving the Interests of Society

Those who are seeking justice and their legal representatives are looking to see information on these priests and their whereabouts enter the public domain, in the interests of public safety and well being. However, the church are set to fight this campaign, looking to impose limits and sanctions on the release of related files or data on those accused of perpetrating abuse. This debate is set to rage, with neither party keen to afford any ground to the other, as private investigators work alongside prosecutors to locate the exact whereabouts or circumstances of the 233 accused.

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Should Doctors Apply Morality to Treating Patients?

Doctors exist to serve the well being of society, and the role is often considered to be more vocational than merely perfunctory. Aside from the many years of dedication and academic work that needs to be invested in making a medical career possible, the role itself requires a great deal of commitment and communication skill in order to be performed successfully. Traditionally, doctors have been expected to treat patients without exception or a process of selection, and also regardless of their own beliefs or ethical values.

However, in recent times doctors have sought to take an increasingly hard line and moralistic attitude towards treating their patients, applying more stringent conditions to potential visitors. An example of this surrounds the controversial notion of vaccinating children against diseases, and a rising number of doctors are refusing to retain or treat patients who refrain from allowing their offspring to subject various vaccinations.While this action is supported in policy that allows doctors to retain a right to refuse treatment of individual moral grounds, the question remains as to whether this appropriate to their role as ethical service providers.

Why Do Parents not Vaccinate Their Children?

The statistics are less than specific, but physicians themselves suggest that there is a growing number amongst them who adopt an unswerving policy to treating unvaccinated children. In fact, there are increasing instances where doctors have spent several months advising and educating parents in the benefits of individual vaccinations, only to refer them elsewhere when they continually refuse to let their children be immunised. While some physicians claim that this decision is taken predominantly to protect other children who are considered at an increased risk of illness, there is an undoubted sense of morality and individual selection being applied to their decision making processes.

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Why Modern Relationships Fail, Part 2

Finance is often cited as being influential in modern instances of separation, but this notion is particularly vague and offers only minimal insight to the potential causes. One may assume that this is simply due to general economic concerns, and that divorce and separation are merely inevitable consequences of the global recession and an enforced period of fiscal hardship, where couples are rendered without capital and vulnerable to subsequent social pressure.

However statistics suggest the opposite, and actually reveal that the national divorce rate dropped appreciably during the recent global recession. This is chiefly due to a fall in the amount of marriages commenced, but also because the concept of divorce becomes entirely impractical once wealth is scare and a financial stability needs to be sustained. Therefore, it is likely that more pertinent and specific reasons subsist behind the guise of independent relationships.

The Excesses of Freedom

As an example, irresponsible spending is a common problem within contemporary relationships, but this is an entity that is unique and entirely specific to each individual circumstance. It typically involves an individual within the relationship spending an amount of money that is disproportionate to their actual income, which fosters further issues between the couple that surround both mistrust and disrespect.

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Why Modern Relationships Fail, Part 1

If you were to believe everything that you were told about contemporary culture, then you may well consider that marriage and long term union are increasingly irrelevant amongst the citizens of today. As the divorce rate in the US remains one of the highest in western civilization, with a rising number of couples also choosing not to marry before they commence a family, it is easy to draw the conclusion that individuals are finding it harder than ever to begin and remain in a stable and committed relationship.

While the situation is not as bad as often reported in the media, there are still concerns surrounding modern relationships and the evolving structure of family units. In particular, these concerns focus on the vast numbers of failing marriages and subsequent swathes of broken families, which impacts heavily on affiliated children and creates a distorted view of family for the younger generation. What further complicates the issue is that a different perspective is often held by different genders, making many problems potentially divisive and extremely difficult to resolve.

The Evolution of Equality

Ironically, one of the main issues in modern relationships is also something that has been of huge benefit to society as a whole. This is equality, which has evolved gradually over the last century to deliver equal rights and living standards to female members of society, and subsequently served to change the accepted dynamics within a relationship. While no fair minded individual could deny the positive impact of equality on society, it has posed issues to couples of a particular generation with regards to their roles and expectations.

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How Much Should Religion Adapt to Circumstance?

Religion has and always will retain a significant place in contemporary culture, as various bodies of faith foster a philosophy of living for their followers. This involves the worship of specific religious icons and different perceptions of literature, which are combined to create an overall belief system and core personal values. These are important, as they govern how an individual lives their life and the moral code of conduct that they choose to adhere to, giving their existence a clear direction that is orientated by faith and cultivated belief.

However, various religions have witnessed significant changes to their ethos and attitudes in recent times, either through an adaptation to social circumstance or the development of extremist factors. While several of these changes are welcomed by many as hugely beneficial, there is a growing concern that they are rendering the religion that they represent increasingly irrelevant.

The Nature of Religious Belief

Catholicism is an excellent example of a religion that has struggled in the contemporary age, and in time being forced to address their values and attitudes to life. If we consider the concept of abortion, which was widely condemned in the faith for generations, then we see that conditions are now being applied by the religion in an attempt to accept it as a part of liberal existence.

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Are We Wise to Rely on Technology?

Technological advancement has been a key feature of the contemporary generation, as the online revolution and innovations in mobile media have changed the way in which individuals conduct their everyday activities. Of course, as something grows and becomes increasingly prevalent within society, human nature dictates that citizens may well develop an unhealthy over reliance on it. Wherever this exists. there is always a genuine danger that individuals can neglect other areas of their life or become too single minded in their approach to tasks.

An example of this was seen in media reports this week, as premier communications website Google suffered technological problems that temporarily lost customer emails and account access. Subsequently, thousands of individuals worldwide we driven to panic at the concept of being denied access to their online profiles, and left feeling increasingly adrift and without direction. This issue was resolved promptly by Google, as they keep a copy of users emails on a data type, but this in itself raises further questions about online security and privacy of google users and their content.

The Issue of Over Reliance

If we first consider societies over reliance on online media, then we must first understand exactly how prominent it is in contemporary culture. Almost every conceivable daily activity can be now undertaken through the internet, from weekly shopping to the management and payment of utility usage or household bills. The online revolution has delivered an ease of existence to the citizens of the US, and gradually become the premier methodology for conducting tasks and the mundane necessities of daily life.

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The Issue of Social Perspective

As the US continues to witness civilized protests and an increasing display of social unrest, it would be easy to assume that the nation is in the midst of a truly challenging and difficult set of circumstances. While this may be true in some respects, it may be considered a view without the requisite level of perspective, as any issue that the country is currently experiencing pale into significance when compared with those of previous generations. Social issues are always relative however, both to the time and specific demographics, and need to be considered on their own merits accordingly.

This was exemplified and drawn into focus earlier this week, as it was revealed that the last remaining US survivor of World War 1 died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday. Frank Buckles of West Virginia had celebrated his 110th birthday on February 1st, and as he passed so too did the final living reminder of one of histories most ill conceived and barbaric wars. With this in mind, it is interesting to consider the magnitude of social issues between generations, and understand the role that governments play in cultivating trust and perspective within society.

The Changing Perception of Hardship

As Frank Buckles passing comes at a time of social discord, it is an opportunity to apply this perspective to contemporary USA and draw conclusions from its current situation. The first thing that becomes apparent is how the perception of hardship has evolved over the generations, which is obviously a clear consequence of progression and technological advancement. As living conditions improve in terms of health, technology and privilege, so too individuals become accustomed to particular standards and expect more from their existence.

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Social Networks Lending Their Voice to the People

Currently, the political climate in the US is an unstable and divisive one, as scores of citizens protest against infringements of their rights and restricted economic conditions. An inevitable consequence of this is that the nations media has become a veritable conduit for negative and damaging news stories, helping only to further cultivate the existing mood of depression and social tension. However, these reports only serve to worsen an existing social perception, and often undermine the better aspects of daily existence that help to improve peoples standards of living.

An example of such good deeds is the Underheard in New York’ project, which was prevalent in the news this week after helping to reunite a homeless man with his estranged daughter of 11 years. The scheme, which aims to give homeless individuals a voice by creating social networking accounts and giving them a prepaid mobile telephone, is a continuing entity that gives unfortunate individuals an opportunity to make tentative steps as interactives member of society.

The Good of Social Networking

Quite aside from assisting and improving the standard of living in US society, this project has also helped to reveal the role that advanced social networking can play in delivering a healthy contribution to interaction. The practice of social networking through a virtual medium is one which is often maligned as potentially disruptive, but this is largely due to the negative perception generated by media reports of instances of abuse or malpractice by users.

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The Internet as an Example of Global Harmony

The concept of a multicultural population is not new in terms of its principles, and through history there have been several prominent and forward thinking individuals who have sought to remove cultural barriers in society. This is with a view to integrating all cultures and belief systems within the boundaries of nations, where citizens will live, work and procreate in harmony and without the pressures of social prejudice regardless of their creed. However, while the concept is not new, it is still one that is at the mercy of an unstable global climate and the attitudes of civilians.

Interestingly, contemporary culture has seen a significant example of a global community, and how it has contributed to a vast improvement in an individuals ability to access information, interact and seek out truth. Of course, this refers to the World Wide Web and the online revolution, which over the last 2 decades has modified the methodology that we use to undertake both everyday and complex tasks alike. This should serve as an example of how a global community can succeed, regardless of the vast differences between the virtual and the real worlds.

How the Internet Provides Hope for the Future

When a society or faction of people are exposed to something on a frequent and daily basis, it begins to lose its mystique, regardless of its capabilities and the potential for growth. It is human nature to take for granted anything that resides as a permanent cultural or social fixture, especially in an age where brand new media and technological advancements are being made with impressive frequency. However, if we consider the mechanics of the internet and what it has the potential to deliver to its users, then its possibilities suddenly become endless and unlimited.

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