Gun Politics

The history and amendments of Laws on Gun Politics in America and the dangers associated with the possession of Guns.

Gun politics is an issue that has been taken so seriously by most countries. In the past, during World War II, most powerful States like Russia, Germany and America had different opinions on the manufacture of arms and the use of arms. As a result, the United Nations decided to put regulations on the manufacture, use and supply of guns to control the misuse of guns by the major States and the allies. Gun politics can therefore be said to be more concerned with the safety of the people, from the misuse of guns by the criminals and individuals who can access the gun since most countries are sovereign in nature (Lieuwen, 1960).

Rules and regulation on the use of guns had to be put in place despite the fact that laws vary from one State to another but for the sake of unity and to avoid unnecessary aggressions, there was need to come up with rules on the use and possession of guns. The rules outline on the manufacture, possession of guns and the supply or the distribution of guns from one person State to another (Lieuwen, 1960).

Gun politics in the United States
Enforcement of laws and regulation of gun politics has faced a lot of opposition from most people and parties in America since most of the people believe that they have the right to own guns. However, for the last few decades gun politics has been debated extensively by both the executive organ and the House of Commons to come up with the best laws to govern the use of arms by individuals and the government especially in fighting crime. The amendments or the second amendment was mainly concerned with the individual rights to possess gun and is well stated in the bill of rights, the amendment was adopted 14 years after the American government gained independence and was reflected in the constitution (Lieuwen, 1960).

My opinion
The laws and regulations to own gun in America and the amendments that were made in line with gun possession by the individuals has led to the increase in criminal cases and misuse of guns both by the adults and the people below 18 years. The amendments therefore have led to the emergence of new gun culture in America, as they believe that they have the right to own guns.

It is therefore in order to ensure that the regulations on gun use, be well defined in the constitution to avoid misuse of guns and to ensure that the innocent lives are not taken away by the people who do not understand the laws and regulation. Finally, gun politics has been a major debate in most countries as some countries such as the United States believe that they have the right to manufacture guns as opposed to developing countries that feel they have the same right.

Public policy making

Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau were economic theorists and they contributed to the political economy. They suggested that public policy making should be a decision of all the citizens in a country and should not be done by a few people and imposed to the majority. They advocated for democracy in the public policy making where all the people affected by the policies should contribute to the establishment of the policies. The three political economists suggested that a democratic economy is the best for an economy that focuses on the welfare of the people. A democratic economy is the one which accepts the ideas from the people affected by the policies being made by the governing body (Gerston, 1997).

Policy process involves development of ideas which are required to achieve certain goals. Several ideas are generated during the process of policy making. These ideas are the possible solutions that an organization has. On the other hand, policy analysis is the determination of the best policy to implement. The ideas generated during the policy process are screened to come up with the most suitable ones. The best policies are implemented while the others are not considered. When making public policies certain processes should be observed to ensure all the standards are adhered to (Gerston, 1997).

In a democratic nation, policies affect all the people and this requires the contribution of all disciplines to have an integrated policy. Different disciplines have different opinions about the public policies to be developed. An integrated approach to policy making will add value to the policies being made. People are ready to implement policies which have been made in a democratic manner. Imposing policies to people creates conflicts and the policies may fail. A democratic economy should obtain the views from all the stakeholders to develop ideas that match the needs of the people concerned. Participation in policymaking allows challenges to be established on the efficiency of the policies. Challenges are good in the determination of the success of the policies (Gerston, 1997).

Empirical study is based on the practical or experimental methods of acquiring knowledge. The learners are exposed to the reality of the theories studied. It encourages the use of knowledge acquired from the theoretical studies into the practice. Experience increases the retention capacity of a person and creates a good picture of the actual aspects of theory (Gerston, 1997).

The period of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century according to the European philosophy. It is also called the age of reason which advocates for rationality. The age of enlightenment is described as the foundation of the modern systems of knowledge. Many concepts developed during the age of enlightenment have become very important in modern studies. The age of enlightenment occurred when man started to develop ideas which required a lot of thinking. Several philosophers, mathematicians, physicists, and other acknowledged people established themselves during this age. Empirical study has improved the understanding of the theoretical knowledge that was developed during the age of enlightenment. Most of the concepts developed during this period where practiced through empirical studies (Gerston, 1997).


De Walls piece cites the case of Darfur and how the ruling Sudanese government failed to protect those at the receiving end from a series of brutal acts of genocide. The author illustrates how despite there being well-documented incidents of genocide, the government got away without doing anything. The UN Peacekeeping Forces and other reports consistently described the events in Darfur as to come within the meaning of the term genocide, yet they proved to be largely ineffective. 

Many issues arose out of the debate on protection and the scope of obligation of the government. With the government failing, complex issues such as what would be the mandate of the peacekeeping forces and how would be bearing their financial burden also arose. An unsatisfactory answer to these issues may have also led to the failure of protection measures.

Slim, in his piece, tries to look at the issue more pragmatically questioning the global media as well as other Islamic nations, especially the Middle East, but maintaining at the same time that the primary responsibility continues to vest with the Sudanese government.

Slim is praiseful of the UN fact finding missions, but is quick to point out at their overall ineffectiveness. That the UN agencies proved to be most vocal is probably both an encouraging as well as a disastrous sign. However, he is appalled at the efforts of diplomacy in the situation and laments about how different Darfur could have been if some concrete diplomatic talks had been engaged in.
Staub in his article, while talking about the various factors (both internal and external) which lead to a mass violence and genocide situation, argues the need to look at resolution of the same through internal issues rather than external. He argues in favor of diplomatic talks between the various hostile groups, while keeping in mind their history and past relationship with each other.

Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the internal role has always been and would perhaps continue to be the more important one. Rather than solely concentrating on the present day government talking out issues at the federal level, it may be useful to localize our efforts and also diversify our options. Hostile groups need to be interacted with directly and a hands-on approach is likely to be useful.
If the aforesaid measures are pursued in good faith, it is much more likely that a situation like Darfur can be possibly prevented in the future.

The Fury of Ethnic Minorities in Paris Suburbs

This paper aims to provide knowledge on the racial and ethnic hegemony in contemporary France. It explains the broaden issue on the impact of  racial injustice to  French youth immigrants living in the suburbs of Paris. It describes how the suburban ghettos became the primary source of civil unrest due to the failures of the French government to render a pure sense of socio-political equality to its immigrants. This paper argues on the central controversy in the realm of the French intellectual debate the uncertainties surrounding the modification of the traditional republican principles to be reconciled with a fair recognition of ethnic and cultural diversity. It is in this argument that this papers thesis is deep rooted. The main standpoint of this essay validates the fact that contemporary France needs to uphold a pluralist concept of civic identiy and cite the positive values of the cultures of the ethnic minorities.

The finite problem of social exclusion by the youth ethnic minorities in Paris was confronted by the French government through the creation of public institutions meant to counter racial tension during the1950s. The establishment of the Societe Nationale de Construction de Logements pour les Travailleurs and Algeriens and the Fonds d Action Sociale pour les Travailleurs Immigres in the late 1950s served to address the housing problems and to fund social and cultural activities for the migrants (Penninx 2004). However, government efforts to  address the racial and ethnic outcry of the immigrants became inadequate as the nation became overwhelmed with the massive influx of the immigrants.

The 1995  film La Haine by Mathieu Kassowitz is a clear manifestation of the violent and negative implication of social exclusion. The film focuses on the violence and negligence which are the common themes in the deprived suburb of France. In the suburb area in France live Vinz, a Jew who has long held an anger against the racist culture, Said, a talkactive Arab who longed for some acceptance through sex, and Hubert, a black man who dreams of becoming a successful boxer. With racism as the focal theme of the movie, the director is able to create a fiction out of the reality. In the film, it is seen that the three characters, all of them are jobless and have no productive way of spending their time, are being deprived of economic opportunities due to the ongoing racial tension. This kind of deprivation is atttibuted to the failure of the French political classes to integrate immigrants of different races into the nations economy and culture resulting to the rising number of unemployed immigrants (Ireland 2005). Also, the ethnic minorities have fallen short of the supply of basic necessities which  greatly impacted their daily living.

It is recorded that the rising unemployment rate among the ethnic minorities in the Paris suburbs disproportionately affected migrants and their children and turned several ethnic minority neighbourhoods in the outskirts of France into wastelands of poverty along with the common social occurrences such as tension, urban violence and crime (Penninx 2004). In this sense, it can be said that the economic problem of the etnic minorities translates to another major social problem such as crime and violence. The economic deprivation which the socially disadvantaged society experiences in contemporary France continually shape and negatively influence the mindset of the civilians who resort to violence as a cure for public negligence.

Included among the major backlashes of the failure of the government to recognize equality is found in the education system of France. It is noted that the educational institutions meant for the ethnic minorities are commonly staffed by weary, tyrant and cynical teachers and the students have no choice but to endure the filthy and overcrowded classrooms (Ireland 2005). This description matches with the films point of view education as Hubert says to Vinz that he learned hate breeds hate in school. Seeing the characters as nuisance youths, the impact of derailed educational system for the ethnic minorities have been intertwined with sociological, emotional and psychological problems.

Scholars argue that the formulation of institutional racism imposed on ethnic minorities in the field of education is a serious phenomenon because of the changing cultures  of young people in the European context concerning racial, ethnic and gender basis. The changing preferences of the French youth concerning racism can be considered as one of the main contributing factors leading to a more fragmented society. True enough, it is reported that the pursuit for an effective anti-discriminatory and intercultural education in contemporary France is being overshadowed by a gruesome fact that the complexity of the racism is certainly cannot be solved through government intervention alone.

Set up in a decaying housing project in one of Frances suburbs, the film La Haine is a reflection of the immigrants  conflict with the French government concerning housing and settlements. It is written that the spatial concentration of ethnic minorities in certain parts of  France remains a political issue. At present, the high-rise human warehouses meant where the migrants reside are a filthy, crowded and sinister places with limites commercial amenities for the residents (Ireland 2005).

The settlements of the ethnic minorities mirror out the blurred opportunities for the youth migrants who have been singled out through age, ethnicity and appearance as the societys troublemakers. In the 1970s, the transit settlements, which were home to almost exclusively poor migrant families, instigated tensions with the French populations housed in adjacent neighbourhoods, and they increasingly perceived as ghettos (Penninx 2004). The social unrest in the overcrowded part of France and the unfinished promise ofracial and ethnic hegemony in france settlements conducive enough for healthy living remain as an outcome of the failed attempt of the French political classes to integrate the minorities in their priority list.

The ghetto youths living in the suburbs of  Paris are a reflection of an isolated society that has to live with a stigma of being a slum, uneducated and neglected civilization. In the 1980s,  the neigbourhoods in the suburbs of France with high concentrations of migrants started to be considered as ghettos (Penninx 2004). The rise of the ghettos at the time was greatly affiliated with the radical counter-attackes of the ethnic minorities who succumbed to violence and brutality as a form of rebellion. The 1980s ghettos had turned from traditional working-class neighborhoods into a deprived and alienated ethnic minority neighbourhoods as an effect of the widespread housing shortage and the discrimination against the ethnic migrants (Penninx 2004).  In addition, the ghetto migrants then were increasingly viewed as the sources of insecurity and as threats to public order (Penninx 2004). The social connotation for the ethnic minorities as well as the emergence of the term  ghetto  leads to the identity crisis of such minorities who are now confused with the totality of their being. This concept creates a picture of the neglected minorities searching for their identity amid condemnation (Ireland 2005).

Ghetto youths residing in the suburbs of Paris are regarded as suffering from acute disadvantage in the labor market and are commonly referred to as underclass (Hargreaves 1995). It is noted that being labeled as ghetto means ethnic alterity in which it is commonly attributed to dysfunctional behavior and low standards of personal morality. In La Haine, the three characters nuisance attitude validates the notion that ethnic minorities have a disturbed past as viewed by their radical outlook in life.  Given this description, the ghetto then is being defined as the anti-thesis of successful integration a spatially modified enclave occupied by people who deviate from the moral and material norms of the whole population (Hargreaves 1995). With this concept, the political debate on the rise of the ghettos and their structured identities is pointed at the failure of the French government to enact multicultural policies and laws that may benefit the ethnic minorities in economic, political, educational and social contexts.

This paper confirms the Frances one sided outlook in terms of policy-making across all fields. Taking cues from the historical and ideological contexts, this paper affirms the concept that the negligence of France towards the ethnic minorities is due to the clash of several kinds of response of the government to racial and ethnic hegemony. As the response of the government tend to be a traditionalist one, an action which refuses to accept any claims of the relevance of multicultural societies and strongly praises the orthodox republican principles of the secular nation, the French politics denies the ethnic minorities the chance to contribute for the common good and limits the capabilities of the migrants within the confides of being a ghetto.

Citizenship Project

The United States is a federal government, which has devolved units of governance. City and municipal councils represent the units of decentralized government. They are empowered through their state statues to implement the federal agendas within their communities and they act as links between the federal and state government and the local citizens. The Honolulu city council is an empowered city council mandated by the local citizens through election and the state laws to serve the community around. Citizens of Honolulu elect their officials from local counties who represent them on the city council. The powers the city council has in making decisions is closely monitored and determined by the residents making them integral participants in implementing all policies and agendas in the council.

Honolulu city council, like other city councils across the country represents the United States Federal government and the state of Hawaii. Honolulu city council often and regularly conducts meetings with the local residents who had elected the council representatives to take note of their opinions and suggestions regarding implementation of different policies within the city council. The city council meetings are important and necessary in Honolulu before any decision gets to the level of legislative agenda. Any enactment of any agenda within the council should get a nod from the electorate. That is why the citizens play the decisive role in formulating policies affecting Honolulu. The Honolulu community forms a group known as Neighborhood Planning Council that is supposed to discuss all the issues affecting their respective localities (City of Battle Creek, 2010). This is a typical requirement for most of the city and county councils in the U.S government where citizens form their own platforms to enable them participate fully in their council meetings. These views from the platforms organized by the citizens are later presented to the council meeting which is open to all residents who live or operate businesses within the councils area of jurisdiction for debate. These meetings are supposed to be convened at least once per month and last between two and three hours. The location of these meetings is in neighborhood schools or other areas that the council considers appropriate. Participation of local residents in Honolulu city council meetings is in line with the democratic principles of governance within the city, state, and federal levels. The analysis below tries to explain the importance of the local council meetings in Honolulu and the wider role the council meetings play within the community and at the federal government level.

Section I
The city council of Honolulu does not have a specific mission statement for the city council in general however, each department in the council has a specific mission statement. This includes the police, fire, ocean safety and safe group, medical department and other different departments. We, the men and women of the Honolulu Police Department, are dedicated to providing excellent service through partnerships that build trust, reduce crime, create a safe environment, and enhance the quality of life in our community(County and City of Honolulu, 2010). This is an example of the police department mission and the others are similar in the mission statement content. The purpose of the mission statements in different departments is to give adequate information to the public, to assist and advice them on how to access their rights, accessing quality services and enabling them to have a high life quality every day. It would have been easier to segment the mission statements in each department to enable the residents have an easy understanding of the roles and tasks expected from their council departments.
The council derives its authority from the by laws and charters which are passed by the city and county council members. Each activity handled by the council is authorized through these charters and by laws. An example is the revised Charter of Honolulu (RCH) 1973, which provides the authority to conduct audits (City  Council of Honolulu, 2002). The council members pass these laws, which later are enacted. Ordinary the position of the city from the legal point of view, on of complete subordination of the state (Goodnow, 1994, p. 25). Despite the legislative powers the council has it should also be noted that all the decisions made must be in tandem with the state statues. This example indicated the position of the Councils in US which the Honolulu city council was not an exception because it needs to implement policies which would not conflict with those of the State even if they are mandated by the local residents. 

Nine council members are elected one from each district of Oahu. This makes the number of council members nine, since there are nine districts in Oahu (Honolulu Gov, 2010). Therefore, there is a team of nine members in the city council of Honolulu who have been directly elected by the local residents through universal suffrage. These elected members act as official representatives of the citizens in the city council chamber.

The council holds its meetings once in a month. However, any meeting may be called in between as a special meeting anytime the majority of members, the council chair, or even the mayor may find necessary (Honolulu Gov ,2010). This gives the mayor the power to call meetings whenever he deems it necessary, and at his point it shows the powers the mayor in the city council. Although in certain circumstances the residents can mobilize their representatives to assemble meetings when they have thorny issues to be discussed.

The council meetings are usually held in the council chamber, Honolulu Hale, third floor (Honolulu Gov, 2010). This is a specific and traditional area where meetings have been held since the founding of the council although the meetings sometimes are held in other public areas like in institutions as long as the citizens can have easy accessibility to that place. Anyone can attend most of the council meetings except from the executive sessions (Honolulu Gov 2010). This shows that there are meetings meant for the public while others are only for special people who happen to be the executive comprising mostly of the senior officials of the city council and elected officials. Forums for public are also known, so this prevents conflicts arising from arranging and discussing issues between the public and the executive. Issues likely to be discussed are general about the financial, budgetary allocations and expenditure as citizens need to understand how their finances have been managed.

A follow up of the last meeting minutes is also essential for the public to know if there was any progress made. Public opinions and suggestions as well as presentation of reports by several departments and agents are also likely to be discussed (Honolulu Gov, 2010). Citizens are also given a platform to address their issues before the elected officials and other officials are given time to air their issues. Its a normal protocol in Honolulu city council.

When the members are all seated, the lectern proceeds to take the roll call. The agenda of the meeting is then tabled (Honolulu Gov, 2010).  In this case, those lined up to contribute are called by the order they registered and given three minutes each to contribute. Their views and proposals are then debated by the participants and appropriate measures taken pertaining to the issues.
Controversial issues are solved by voting through a nay or aye vote. The quorum required for a vote to take place is majority among the nine members (Honolulu Gov, 2010).This is a democratic process practiced not only in Honolulu city council but across the country. The public views are very important in implementation of these motions. This is all done in public meetings. As members who elected the council officials, they have the mandate to sanction any policy or issue affecting the council or them.

Section II
Council Meeting, 20th of March 2010 from 2p.m. at Capital elementary school grounds.
The Council initiates, discusses, implements and finances development projects in the city such as roads, railways and other transport systems. In the US system, it represents the democratic process of the participation of the public and elected officials to find solutions of their respective areas. The council derives its authority from council charters and by laws, passed by the council members or from the state government.

In the council meeting, I observed an organized and planned method through which all problems of the city are channeled. Both the council and the community took the meeting seriously through contributions and constructive arguments. All the participants arrived early enough before the meeting kicked off. The community was well aware of the role of the council judging from their contributions and questions to the council members. The meeting was a development forum with most agendas focusing on the required or intended development projects.  Specific time was allocated for each person contributing. The council members as well as the community had a lot of respect to every opinion made and everyone had time to listen to the other. The behavior in the meeting created a lot of harmony and corporation between the parties involved to fast track the development agendas in place.
Normally before any serious decision was reached such as replacing city council board members or passing proposed project budgets, citizens were required to vote. There was an open forum reserved for the community members with questions or proposals. Citizens in this case voiced out their views in supporting, correcting, or contributing to the council policies. The council took these proposals and corrections serious enough and they were assured that the opinions would be implemented in future. Some of the areas that citizens took the council to task were areas of security in the city and traffic jams on the roads which generated a lot of emotions. During elections, citizens endorsed those officials elected by the council members .The meeting was adjourned after every community member was satisfied with the agenda, an indication of the immense control that the citizens had in their council.

The council proceedings fully conformed to their expected role in the U.S government. The public meeting is a requirement for all the councils in the United States as a forum to get the community suggestions and implement them. The suggestions of the community are supposed to be shared with city officials who later work with councils to bring the required changes (City of Battle Creek, 2010). This was exactly what happened in the meeting. Residents are required to make suggestions on how the council should carry out its operations in sectors concerning them. The meeting of the council was also aimed at discussing development projects in the city. Councils main role is to collect taxes in the city, foster development, ensure security of the citizens (Honolulu county council, 2010). These roles are all in line with the federal policies and the expected roles of councils.
The important thing I learned is the community influence in decision-making. The community was the cornerstone in making final decisions within the council. The City council played its part in implementing policies but the citizens were crucial in formulating them. The corporation between the City council members and citizen enabled the council to operate in good harmony and efficient delivery of services to the community was guaranteed.

City and county councils form the government at the local level in the towns and cities. The councils have a great role to play in developing projects, security issues as well as other social issues. Their main mission it to improve the service delivery to their communities. Their operations are further enhanced through the public participation in major council decisions. This brings about high success levels due to corporation of all stakeholders involved. There are different roles given to different councils depending on the state government that varies widely from state to state. All the same, the jurisdiction of the council is to improve the city or town where it is based. The city is a political subdivision of the state (Martin, 1990, p. 13). This aspects depicts the interrelationship between the city council and state which in turn is accountable to people and the federal government. As the lowest unit of devolution it is also the most critical one as the views of citizens are channeled through the councils all the way to the top in Washington. Any development cannot be made without the participation of the citizens in those meetings. Transparency accountability and responsibility of those elected officials can only be done when the citizens participate in city council meetings.

Inside NASA high technology and organizational change in the U.S. space program By Howard E.

Instructor Name Inside NASA high technology and organizational change in the U.S. space program By Howard E. McCurdy  A Review

In Inside NASA the renowned space historian and sociologist Dr. Howard E. McCurdy, studies NASAs organizational culture and the agencys collective attitude towards the work of space exploration in the organization in the early days of NASA as compared to the state of NASA in in the 1970s and beyond.
The book is a mainly a study of organizational culture with the use of NASA as a case study, rather than a work on the history of NASA. The author uses sociological concepts to explain the decline of NASA as a space-faring organization, its transformation into a bureaucracy and why NASA in the decades after the great success of the lunar landings was unable to replicate the successes of the past.

Dr. McCurdys book throws an interesting light on the ways of bureaucratic organizations however, I think Inside NASA could have been enhanced by adding an analysis of the organization in light of Cybernetic theories. The transformation of NASA from an objective based organization to one geared towards self-preservation and status quo recalls the difference between the Analytic Paradigm and Cybernetic and Cognitive Paradigm as theorized by Steinbruner in his Cybernetic Theory of Decision. Steinbruner says that the Analytic Paradigm is geared towards seeking solutions and achieving objectives while the Cybernetic and Cognitive Paradigm is geared towards self-perpetuation.

Organizations with an Analytic paradigm are sensitive to unexpected outcomes while those with the Cybernetic and Cognitive paradigm focus on eliminating variable and ensuring stability, assuming that conditions will always remain the same (Steinbruner, 1974). Rather than a paradigm change McCurdy views the changes in the agency more in terms of an inevitable organizational life-cycle where an early culture of risk taking is replaced by one that is occupied with maintenance of the status quo.

McCurdy describes the early days of NASA as a period of great enthusiasm, creativity and innovation. The employees of NASA were imbued with a sense that they were making history. Technical and scientific achievement was the foremost objective in everyones minds. The role of engineering project management in the organization was far greater than it is today. The organization worked with a clear vision of their goals, the time available to them for the fulfillment of their objectives and the various constraints placed upon them such as budgetary and cost constraints.

An organization such as NASA depends upon government to give them leadership and direction. On May 25, 1961, in a message to Congress, President John F. Kennedy gave a rousing speech calling for a mission to land humans on the Moon. Charged with President Kennedys vision, the agency made great strides in technological progress.

This era of progress started to end around the start of the Nixon administration. NASA officials found that government was so longer interested in space explorations or scientific endeavors in general, for their own sake. Several reports by NASAs Space Task Group for the expansion of extension of space exploration missions were reject one after another by the government.

Without the governments support, NASA was left without any long-term vision or objective. In response to the lack of support for science-for-the-sake-of-science, NASA official developed a strategy to try to bundle up their scientific missions with the goals of the military or the private industries. They found that usually only projects that had underlying benefits for the military or industry were approved by the government.

The focus of NASA administration was shifted from technological achievement to the creation of political coalitions for their various programs. Campaigns in support of various NASA programs involved the support of such disparate entities as the military, private contractors hoping to get some business from the programs, space exploration enthusiasts from the public, astronomers and politicians looking for NASA related jobs in their districts.

One of the results of these dirty politics in support of space programs was the Shuttle. The shuttle was supposed to be able to do multiple jobs, it was designed to transport people to and from a orbiting space station, deliver military spy satellites, deliver components of the space station into orbit, deliver space telescopes into orbit and so on and so forth.

McCurdy says that the presence of these multiple objectives seriously strained the technological ability of the agency. McCurdy cites this as one of the causes of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster (McCurdy, 1993).

McCurdy theorizes that three decades of visionless existence had caused serious decay in the organizational capabilities of NASA. NASA administration had become bureaucratized and interested only in maintaining status quo. Thus, when the administration of Bush the senior came up with a proposal for renewed exploration of the moon and Mars, instead of grasping this opportunity to revitalize the agency, NASA response to the proposal was to try to bundle up the proposal into continued support for existing programs and into support for flailing sectors of the organization.
McCurdy has not presented a great case of why we should have space exploration for the sake of itself. The United States is a democratic country, if the citizens of the country do not believe that space exploration should be a priority, the politicians will not give it importance either. In the early days of NASA the public as well as the politicians were greatly motivated by the Cold war rivalry with the USSR to win the space race, today, when the United States is clearly ahead in the space race, it is doubtful that public enthusiasm for space exploration can be revived. Even the current Mars exploration program of European Space Agency which recently revealed images of the Mars moon Phobos, failed to generate much enthusiasm for Mars exploration in the United States. A renewal of NASA would perhaps require the Chinese or the Russian space programs to achieve a level of technical achievement that could be seen as rivaling that of the United States.

Palestinian Suicide Bombing Public Support, Market Share, and Outbidding

Theoretical context
This context is based on the acknowledgement of changes in support of violence based on suicide bombings from the Palestinian population while looking at the motivation behind such support between two significant periods with differentiated support.

Gaps being addressed
The author tries to focus on the issues that have not been focused on as the motivating factors towards this kind of violence. In the Middle East, suicide bombings have been conspicuous for their use by radical Islamic organizations to cripple the pace of peace process and progress of relations between the two warring groups of Palestinian Authority and Israel. Through this, Palestinian bombings are taken as the only tool that plays a central role of disturbing the peace process (Mia, 2004). From the view of Hamas Authority, these bombings are their only strong and key factor for their use in the field of struggle between them and Israel. A clear analysis of these bombings and their timings puts a clear picture which shows that, there is even a higher possibility these bombings are used more as a political muscle than a military strategy.

There is even a clear evidence the that, the Hamas group and other Islamic militants have been having informers who leak to them information about the peace processes and discussions between Israel and other interested parties like United States and even the political developments in Israel which gives them an opportunity of how to respond so as to influence their outcome. In another view, violence through bombing is seen as a measure for retaliation castigated by provocations from Israel. Cases of Hebron massacre and al-Ibrahim massacre have been regarded as the great motivators for retaliation efforts from the Palestinian community. In addition, provocations through assassination of Palestinian factional group leaders have also been taken to have taken a lead role in promotion of violent ideologies (Mia, 2004). A best example of this principle was portrayed through the consequent bombing and killing of  six Israelis though a Palestinian attack after the killing of a Fatah organization leader in January.

However, the author sees the above theories as giving a partial explanation to the actual motivating factors towards this kind of violence through their lack of giving an account of why there exists a variance in support for and against the violence. In addition, the results of the bombings are seen to overlap their motivation. According to her, there are instances when these Palestinian groups have given peace process a chance this means that the groups do not operate as a separate entity from each other but they have a common goal regardless of their competition. In addition, Hamas is seen to apply the tactic of suicide bombing when they are convinced that their violence will be equated to failure of ongoing negotiations. This therefore puts the control of peace process in their hands. In this view, the violence from extremists can be termed as strategic, where it targets two audiences (Mia, 2004). First, the violence aims at reaching the Palestinian community which is the domestic audience. Secondly, the violence is intended to draw the attention of external community of the Arab community living in and out of the Middle East commonly referred to as Zionist entity. The two notions of spoiler and retaliation tends to give a low regard to the domestic state building strives by giving more regard to competition for power. 

Central question
The central question being addressed by the author focuses on what is the motivation behind the choice of violence by Palestinian authorities in respect to peace processes, political and social life of Palestinian community.

Authors argument
According to the author, there is specific differentiation between the motivation of this kind of violence and the end results. She disputes both the spoiler and retaliatory theories of bombing on the grounds of their lack of explanation to the underlying motivation. She sees the existence of violence in March 2002 amid a period when there was a substantiate talks going on as a way of trying to control the outcome of the peace process. This is further supported by his view of Hamas do chose to apply violence to deter policy makers from reaching to amicable agreements but this choice is applied when they want to use it as a moderating tool. In other scenario, the application of suicide bombing appears as a non combative technique as it lacks the confrontational aspect by striking when least expected (Mia, 2004).

Relevant variables
Suicide bombings in this region of Middle East has gained popularity due to the increased attention given to the perpetrators and the nation affected as a whole. For each moment, the zeal by different Islamic militant groups to involve itself in this kind of violence seems to revolve around achieving political, military, social and regional objective in helping to re-establish and offer recognition to the Palestinian state. Politically, these bombings are seen as a way of lifting the organizational profile of the groups using them (Mia, 2004). As a result, the groups using these tactics have become more popular as these violent attacks are planned and carried out under the full awareness of the Palestinian authorities.

The popularity of Fatah and Hamas groups has been as a result of their operations to fight the external forces from Israel as a way of liberating Palestine. The impact of these attacks has gone ahead even to influence the outcome of Israeli politics such as the one that happened in 1996. Such political aspirations drive the intensity of these kinds of violence even higher. Palestine is faced by a challenge of resisting a mighty power of Israel. Palestines acknowledge very well that they stand no chance of defeating this power under a normal military confrontational technique. Therefore, they apply this kind of violence to inflict a colossal damage to the Israel military forces and other interests associated with Israel as a way of attacking their enemy. In this view, the Palestines may lack the power but through this strategy, they seem to achieve more than what their military forces would have achieved in the field.

In the socio-economic field, these bombings have gone a far distance in shaping the day to day life of Palestine population. Due to their massive popularity, they have become a conduit of recruiting militants from members of community. However, this support has come at a price of reduced security as the community is under constant fear of attack from Israel as they target the militant leaders who live among these communities. In addition, these suicide operations have gained a little foot in working towards achievement of set goals of a better future for Palestinian civilians (Mia, 2004). In this respect the opinion from Palestinians points at a deteriorating social life in terms of economic, social and health than earlier before the emergence of these suicide bombings.

Strengths and weaknesses of the argument
This argument helps in giving a better understanding in regard to this complex issue of suicide bombing in the territory of Palestine. The earlier arguments were based on the reason behind the occurrence of these bombings in relation to the two states of Palestine and Israel. However, the argument according to the author explains the underlying motivation behind the increased and decreased intensities of bombing violence. With this in mind, it is easier to analyze and understand the intention of each bombing that has occurred in the two periods under focus. However, regardless of its close analysis, it does not give any tangible solution that can be applied to solve this problem (Mia, 2004). The problem remains as eminent as before and the fear of acceleration of violence in form of suicide bombing seem to increase in intensity with the increased strategy of outbidding from the neighboring Arab states who share a common sentiments about Israel as Palestine population. The article represents a comparative study of suicide bombing violence support between two significant periods. The first period ranges from 1996 to1996 when there was a less than a third of Palestinian population in support of this kind of violence.

The author succeeds in justifying the change in support between the two periods by analyzing the internal politics of Palestine.  In the first period, these bombings were aimed at undermining the legitimacy of the Palestinian authority and cause a negative effect on the peace process. To the Palestinian population, this was seen as a setback to the goals of achieving a stable nation. In addition, the targeted authority was their elected authority hence to them it was their legitimate government. On the other hand, the increased support during the second period was as a result of competition for leadership of the country from different militant groups who are in competition for leadership within the state of Palestine (Mia, 2004).

Implications of the article on the peace between Israel and Palestine
The Middle East peace process has remained elusive for quite some years now. The major underlying factor is the lack of proper understanding of the intricate issues relating to the causes of the violence between these two neighboring states. Efforts from foreign players like United States in jump starting peace process have always done a lip service without dealing with the backbone of the matter. This might end up being an eye opener to the peace deals with a clear involvement of Palestinians. As we have seen, these bombings are just but a weapon of exerting their wish and interests in any peace process.

Roles of Interest Groups in the Selection of Supreme Court Justices

The United States of America democracy is sometimes viewed to be challenged by the Supreme Court that has the power to nullify democratic rights of the society in its decisions. In order to protect individual and social rights, interest groups have been formed to act as mode of checking on the superior power of the judicial process by thoroughly participating in the same with regard to achieve overall democracy away from ill advised notions of specific societies.

The main function of interest groups in the selection of high justices is to maintain purity of the law and ensure accountability in the part of the selected judicial members. The Supreme Court and Courts handles sensitive and controversial cases that arouse the public to debate on how the conclusion of the cases should be formed. According to Suzanne Samuels, Legal ambiguities coupled up with malleable rules and laws that can be interpreted in different ways are the source of renewed social groups interest in the judicial procedures of both selecting the judges and decision on cases. Political pressure and interference that tends to create social controversy on cases in courts can be overcome by interest groups campaign against set government decisions. Interest groups are interested in achieving their main objectives as to preserve democracy in accordance with their interpretation about the same (Samuels, 2004). Therefore interest groups care about whom serves in courts in order to check on the possible negative political and social influence on Judges that deter them arriving at rights decisions.

Interests groups are made up of different individuals holding a given view do influence the decision of Supreme Court by lobbying the general public for a given course of action. In some cases the interest group can serve the court with a sponsored litigation, amici briefs and other judicial reform options that allow the public to present other possible view points that might determine the end result of a given case. In the view of that therefore interest groups have sought for options that include having their own representatives in the Supreme Court Justices who are able to understand and work on the suggestions of such wishes of interest groups in accordance with the law and respect for rights. 

Texas Judicial System and US Supreme Court

Texas Supreme Court s composed of elected judges who run for a term of six years. Statewide partisan election are held to select the most qualified judges who sit in the two highest courts and other subordinate courts that hold election after every four years. Contrary, the United States Supreme Court is composed of Presidential nominated judges who have to be approved by the senate. Unlike the Texas Judges who sit for six years the Supreme Court of the United States is guided by life tenure with only retirement, death resignation and conviction on impeachment on the side of Judges can remove them from their office.

The Texas law allows the State governor to appoint a Justice in case of a seat falling vacant either by death or resign. The appointee is to serve for the remainder of the term with expected Senate approval.  Popular vote is assumed to select the Texas Supreme Chief Justice leads a team of eight Justices just like the US Supreme Court. After the elapse of the six years term, all incumbent Justices can comfortably ask for re-election along with other new candidates (AJS 2007). Whereas the appointment to the US Supreme Court is for life and there have been witnessed rare occurrences of a Judges reassigning but in case it happens the US sitting President appoints a new judge who has to be approved by the senate. A retiring US Supreme Judge will have no option of taking any steps to retain the seat the law allows only the a specific years of service and for  judges impeached and positively convicted their place in the US Supreme service is nullified.   
In conclusion, the main difference between the US Supreme Court operation and the Texas Supreme Court is in their mode of selecting justices whereby the President is the ultimate winner in the US Supreme Court while Texas citizens have a voice in selecting their own judges in all their courts. In general, both of the Supreme courts have nine justices and satisfy their judicial assignment in accordance with the law.   

1. What happens when a member of the U.S. Supreme Court resigns What are the steps for filling that vacancy 2. What happens when a member of the Texas Supreme Court resigns What are the steps for filling that vacancy 3. For how long will the U.S. Supreme Court justice serve Must he or she take any steps to retain the seat 4. For how long will the Texas Supreme Court justice serve Must he or she take any steps to retain the seat    

Global Culture

The integration that occurs with globalization has resulted in greater interaction between people all over the world due to availability of good transport and removal of barriers that hinder the free flow of people, goods, knowledge and capital between borders. This has resulted in greater interlocking of people in all areas of life from social, political, financial but the major effects has been its effects on culture. Cultural globalization leads to joining of languages, the ways of life and to extreme extent homogeneity in global culture. The rate within which todays technologies and communication means  are developing allowing far widespread  flow of culture might direct one to think that the existence of global culture  to be imminent or a reality. These technologies have helped in promulgation and development of global culture at a high rate that is threatening and adulterating traditional cultures around the world thus threatening to plunge the whole world into one sea of dreary uniformity in cultureie global culture

In the book, Japan America, keltz explores the way an influx of Japanese fashion and art has shaped the American culture. The story tells of how the Japanese popular entertainment and art have enhanced the way of life in the America. The story addresses the reasons why Americans are not able to understand poetry and also compares the convergence in the way Japanese responded to the holocaust in the Second World War and how Americans responded to the September  911attacks all through art. In order to face their trauma instead of an escapism. The story achieves the aim of showing just how the Japanese influence have contributed to convergence in the two cultures in the way they handle grief all through art, like movies art and advertising comics , it is a story that reveals just how the joining together of souls  via entertainment can bring together two unique cultures.

Keltz major interest is the rise of the world of anime and manga in the United States. He observes that it was a mystery just how the art developed in the strict and rigid society of the Japanese and how it helped in creating the American pop culture. He notes that the art emotional context and overt sexual and violence overtones were not part of the American culture pop culture earlier but due to cross cultural convergence, the pop culture evolved to accommodate these elements of the Japanese art. Keltz also explains the contribution in which post war animators in Japan had on the development of animators in America like Hayao Miyagazaki. Keltz book illustrates just how the trend towards global culture is becoming a reality.

In Jan Petersie book ethnicity and global multiculture, he explores the concept of globalization from the view of Diaspora and migration. He views it as a process of hybridization involving social and cultural mixing of the local cultures. He rejects the theory of clash of civilizations which proposes that cultures are experiencing polarization in culture due to global consumerism and fundamentalism in culture like the clash of civilizations between the west and Islam. Petersie rejects this narrow view of culture and redefines it to mean beliefs and habits that are shared therefore culture is not limited to individuals or boundaries that is it is always open and therefore global.

Peitersie views cultural hybridization as the ideal phenomenon of global culture. He views it as an open ended method   of joining of all the cultural difference and their interdependence. He notes that the hybridization process has led to intermixing of cultures that at present there may be no longer pure cultures or unadulterated cultures that remain distinct among others without some influence from some other cultures. He explains that this process has led to complete assimilation of some cultures by other cultures leading to uniformity in culture.

Pieterse observes the change in culture to more global by the changing view people have on ethnicity and multiculturalism. He also observes a change in cultures where in the past ethnic divisions were determined largely on boundaries imposed by colonists and other market strategists to a culture where ethnicity and multiculturalism is all about representation like art exhibitions, museums and curio shops that center on creating dialogue and self depiction. In the book, he also focuses on the clash between the Islamic and the western civilization he observes that the Islamic culture consists of several subcultures that have differing histories ad therefore the conflicts arise from west quest for global homogeneity and the Islamic widespread reach. He recommends that imperialists cannot use social science scholarships on just the national level and need to recognize that culture is global and therefore need to investigate it globally.

Nederven Pieterse view of on the effects of the global economy on culture and ethnicity provide an example of how just culture is becoming global. He has e view that the perspective of an economy that is homogenous is rigid confining in relation to state and therefore the cultural dimensions for economy should be understood to be global and should also consider the interrelations between the different cultures. Nederven observes that this concept of cultural globalization has brought about identity crisis to many people around the world. He records that this trend towards global culture risks sabotaging the concept of nationalism and politics of identity .he also observes that the phenomenon risks plobremizing the national boundaries of many nations as the world becomes one global village with almost a homogenous culture.

Out of experience, I have come to note just how the environment around us shapes our behavior. The cultures of those who are around us with time become embroiled in our mind to be the ideal even for us and become part of our behavior. For example, we are all captivated by the ads we see on the media that compel us to behave in the way the ad recommends us to do. We then adopt this behavior and with time it becomes part of our culture. Multinational companies capitalize on these and are on the fore front in advancing the concept of global culture through their advertisement campaigns that target the way the world responds to their brands.
In summary, it is apparent to conclude that the tide towards global homogeneity in culture is strong and will have a lot of impacts to the social, political, and economic significance to the world at large as it continues to evolve. The effects will be either positive, like the adoption of some values from other cultures or negative like the domination of the worlds economy by only a few countries. However, the trend towards global culture is a reality and the world should be prepared to live with its consequences.


Globalization fuels insecurity
Globalization is the involvement of many nations and or regional organizations and economies are integrated into world wide trade unions and connected through communication net works to form a global village with free and quick movement from one region to another.  The economies, political characteristics, cultures, social norms interact at global level. Mittelman insists that the world in the era of globalization is going to have insecurity. He draws a devastating picture of insecure and unstable society of the future global village and issued early warning signs to the emergent state of confusion in the world (Mittelman, 2010). 

Globalization is viewed as the promotion of trade routes for military equipment, or the easy way to globalization of free exchange and flow of army weapons from region to region and the promotion of development of self defense mechanisms for different nations. Mittelman argued that the development of global trade would increase insecurity, fear, and political strife towards the hyperpower and stiff economic competition among the involved regions (Mittelman, 2010). 

According to Mittelman, Hyperconflict Globalization and insecurity describes globalization as a source of intensifying conflict among political powers and stiff competition among the global trade region which he though would be the main source of conflict and insecurity in the world regardless of the robust security systems that would be installed. He stated that the intensified interaction between nations and regions would promote highest multinational conflicts (hyper conflict).  By conceptualizing what is put forward by him, we can certainly acknowledge that globalization fuels insecurity form the underlying prospects of exchange in various security related aspects. 

The Civil Rights Movement

According to the 1776-Declaration of Independence, men are created equal and must have equal opportunity with life, liberty and happiness. With this in mind comes the importance for civil rights movements in our times. Equality of opportunity is sought by all human regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, color, sex, age, or religion. Equality also greatly determines ones happiness and freedom in life.

Racial discrimination among black Americans represents most common form of inequality in our times. These people suffered from great injustice for many years. Color and national origin acted as a great wall that separated the whole American nation. Many campaigns and movements were accomplished to knock down this prejudice between white and black Americans. Because of the 13th Amendment in 1865, slavery is banned yet it did not give blacks complete equality. Successfully, Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment and property discrimination, thereby providing total freedom among the black Americans. Another usual discrimination includes womens rights. Because of male domineering society, many females receive unequal opportunities and privileges in terms of community roles, employment among others.

During colonial times, men were always considered superior and have greater power over the women. Patriarchal families are also evident in the societies making a negative output on women. Important policies imparted a great modification on women rights, such as 19th Amendment in 1920 and Equal Pay Act of 1963.

Civil right movements emerged because people need to protect themselves and their rights. This served the marginalized groups and those who are too weak to defend for themselves. As times goes, the history of civil rights movement for Blacks and women continuously changed for the better, by addressing the specific issues that come out. Laws for them to protect them at work for example have to be address in our times.

The Significance of the Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized  (Fourth Amendment, United states Constitution).

The Fourth Amendment is one of the most important amendments in the United States Constitution.  One of the reasons for the same is that it affirms and protects privacy rights (Right to Privacy, p1).   It affirms the sanctity of a persons body, his place of abode, and his personal effects against unreasonable intrusion by the government.  It also reiterates the time-honored rule that a persons house and personal effects are so sacred that not even the highest and mightiest monarch could enter it against the owners will. 

The Fourth Amendment requires that there must be a lawful search warrant before police authorities like the FBI may enter the house of a private individual, go over his personal belongings and search for any illegal contraband.  In the absence of a search warrant no government official can enter another persons house and get whatever evidence they could find.  In these cases, the individual can easily ask the court to exclude whatever evidence was discovered by the FBI. 

However, it does not say that the right to privacy is absolute.  In fact, the Fourth Amendment itself limits the right to privacy of the public only against unreasonable search and seizure.  This means that when the search and seizure is reasonable the prohibition under the Fourth Amendment does not apply.  A search is conducted when there is an exploration or examination of an individuals house, premises, or person in order to discover things that may be used by the government for evidence in a criminal prosecution (Criminal Procedure Law  Practice, 2004, p.194).  On the other hand, a constitutional search is when the search is made in compliance with the Fourth Amendment and relevant case laws. 
One of the instances of reasonable search and seizure is the stop and frisk arrest.  Pursuant to the doctrine announced in the case of Terry v. Ohio, 392 US 1 (1968), law enforcement officers may based on reasonable suspicion alone rather than on probable cause stop a person in a public place and ask questions to determine if the person has committed or is about to commit an offense and to frisk the person for weapons if the officer thinks that his personal safety may be affected.    In this case, the police officers need only show that at the time of the stop they observed an unusual conduct that led them to reasonably conclude that (1) that criminal activity is about to take place or that criminal activity has just taken place and (2) that the person with whom he or she is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous. 

Another exception is cases of search of moving vehicles.  Police officers may establish stops and check points along the road.  In these cases, the police officer has the authority to examine the peripherals of the car if there is any illegal contraband that is exposed to plain view.  When the police officer discovers illegal contraband such as guns or drugs, the police officer has the authority to conduct a more thorough search and to arrest the individual based on the evidence.  The reason for this police is practicality.  Practical considerations demand that it would not be possible for law enforcement officers to obtain a search warrant of a moving vehicle before a search is made. It is highly mobile such that at the time the search warrant is obtained the vehicle may have been moved to another location. 

China being a Strategic Competitor rather than a Strategic Partner to the United States

In the last one decade, China has posed several economic and military challenges to the government of the United States, which has enjoyed the monopoly of being the superpower for more than five decades. America is facing a lot of challenges from terrorism to economic problems that most people believed was greatly affected by the war that President Bush initiated against Afghanistan and Iraq in his quest to finish terrorism (Peerenboom, 2007).

How has China turned to be a Competitor of the US
Most analysts view China as a threat to America as they are gaining more allies especially from Africa and other parts of the world. China is a peaceful stable country that has got a strong military and a positive economic growth. China as a country is known for being transparent and upholds good values unlike America that is always perceived to be a country full of immorality.

According to Peerenboom (2007), for a country to be considered a superpower, it must ensure that good moralsculture are maintained and absorbed by other States, must be economically stable and should have a well organized military that can defend the superpower and others at the same time. Most political scientists view China as a threat to the USA but others view it as a partner. According to Bush, he described China as a strategic competitor but not a partner.

China has gained goodwill from other States like Kenya that has enabled Chinese government to export most of their products mostly electronics and in exchange, they have won contracts both on road and dam construction in most parts of Africa and specifically in Kenya for the last five years. This is a threat to the United States that has enjoyed the monopoly of power for the past decades (Peerenboom, 2007).

It is worth noting that Chinas growth will highly depend on good leadership, political stability, increasing integration, investments and expansion of their financial market, as they have done in the past. China can therefore be categorized as a competitor of the United States but not a partner.


Significance of Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech is one of the hallmarks of every democratic society.  It allows citizens to freely express their opinion on matters affecting their interest.  It also embraces a number of rights aimed at insuring the free and effective communication of ideas from one person to another.  The right is considered so important that the speech that is protected and guaranteed under the constitution involves not only those that reflect the sentiment of the majority but even those which are against the majority.  It admits of views that may stir up anger and induce a condition of unrest.  Thus, Voltaire was right when he once said that I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Otherwise, the Freedom of Speech will be rendered of no force and effect.  It will constitute an act of censorship if peoples opinions will be restricted.

Yes.  There have been changes in the implementation of the law nowadays.  These changes treat the people as if they are guilty until proved innocent.  It is as if the presumption of innocence so protected under the constitution is losing its significance and applicability in todays society.  Currently, it is common to read in the news law enforcement officers who are able to monitor the bank accounts of individuals, to read their personal emails and to check their phone records.  The government justifies their actions on the ground of national security.  In the past, these actions are abhorred and allowed only if there is a court order to this effect.  However, the constitutionality of these actions is questionable. 

It is true that the materials available for public viewing in the Internet and cable television are sometimes beyond what are appropriate.  It is true that these materials depict violent scenes and sexually explicit themes and content which are not appropriate for viewing for the children.  However, totally restricting the Internet and cable television amounts to censorship as it deprives the adults of their freedom to watch shows which they like.  The Supreme Court in recent cases has expanded the meaning of speech to include any form of artistic expression such as painting, music, poetry, motion pictures, dramatic works, radio and television entertainment, drawings and engravings (Freedom of Expression The First Amendment p. 1). Moreover, restricting the Internet and cable television is an act of censorship which is contrary to the spirit and intent of the constitution.  The best solution to this problem is to classify which shows are for general viewing and which shows are for adult viewing.  Public information campaign should be launched so that the parents will be taught what to do so that they could monitor which shows the children could watch.

Federal system and the Constitution

The political system of the United States is clearly stated in the constitution of 1789 after declaration of Independence in 1776. It is a federal system which means the power is divided between the central government and the fifty states. Power doctrine in the US constitution is based on three branches, legislative, Executive and Judicial branch. The legislative branch compose of the house of representative and the senate, the executive branch however, consist of the president, cabinet and the federal department. In the judicial branch, there is the Supreme Court in charge of legal issues in general and the federal courts in charge of the legal issues dealing with each state.

The new constitution and the role
 According to Hamilton (1987), there was an urgent need to come up with a working constitution after independence to define how the government was to operate and to ensure that no State violates the principles behind the new constitution. John Jay and his two friends Robert Livingstone and Gouverneur Morris were acknowledged for coming up with a new constitution that was accepted by the majority. It is worth noting that the draft was more of English laws and never acknowledged most principles that were initially valued before the declaration of independence, the system of governance was almost similar to that of England. However, most of the experts argued that the constitution was drafted by people who had little experience on constitutional matters and were not old enough to understand the deeper meaning of certain ideologies in governance thereby adopting a system that had similar context with the England constitution this led to proposal of amendments in the constitution.
According to Hamilton (1987), the constitution proposed a republican form of governance and the concept was well explained in a more republican form and ignored the democratic principles that were highly valued by some of the delegates during the fight for independence. It is therefore true that most of the people depending on the State of origin were not fully satisfied with the form of governance or system that was proposed in the constitution but they just had to accept it since there was an urgent need to form a new government that could ensure unity of different States. However, some amendments were made to ensure that the interest of different States was protected. For instance, the amendments on appointment of the council were necessary in providing a clear guideline on the method of appointment and the requirements for appointments.  This brought a major change in the new draft (Hamilton, 1987).

It is worth noting that the new constitution had three branches that were technically linked to each other and the functions and the roles of each state were well defined in the constitution. However, the relationship between the central government and the States has improved as a result of the amendments that were proposed since it opened up modalities on elections and appointments.

Current News in Politics

The most tremendous debate that has been focused on in the current American politics is the health care reforms debate. The health reform bill was proposed by President Barrack Obama, the head of the Federal state. However, in the United States politics, the constitution does not provide for a president with absolute powers. Instead most of the political decisions are steered by the Congress and the Judiciary (Darlington, 2009). This is a contributing factor to the long time being taken for the health reform bill to be passed.

The Health Reform Bill
The health reform bill is currently awaiting legislation, and this can only be achieved through a two thirds vote for the bill, by the Congress. The major provisions in the bill include providing quality health care to every American by ensuring that health insurance is made affordable and accessible to everyone including the low earning families and small scale business owners. Moreover, exploitative and discriminative practices of the insurance companies are going to be put into check and the peoples health insurance choices are going to be widened (Hornick, 2010).This sounds like an attractive proposition considering that deaths and sufferings from illnesses are going to be reduced and it is expected that anyone would grab the opportunity to implement such great ideas. However, the hesitant conversion of the bill into law is almost wholly attributed to the American politics rather than any threats that the bill has to offer.

Parties Involved
First, the debate is carried out by the Congress representatives who can be members of either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. President Obama, who proposed the bill, belongs to the Democrats. It is expected that the health reform bill is likely to be passed, considering that Democrats are majority in the Congress, usually made up of the Senate and House of Representatives. On the other hand, the bill has faced a lot of criticism especially from the Republican representatives, citing government take-over of the health care system, increased budgetary expenditure if the bill is passed, unfair abortion provisions and interference with private insurance among other criticisms.

Relation of the health reforms to previous class readings
The health reforms debate transcends deeply in the American political culture, decision of society goals, political conflict and competition and concept of the political system in the following ways first, it is decided on views based on the two major political divides, the Democrats and Republicans beliefs in relation to the importance to the American people, for instance, democrats and republicans show varied views on abortion. This has been witnessed by competition among the two representations as to which side gets its views accepted. For instance, Republicans want to maintain the former health care system while Democrats are in favor of new one. It is observed that all the government arms-the executive, legislative and judicial are involved in federal decisions.

The United States is a democratic society that allows for free expression of views and a vote system that concludes the ideology of the majority. In my view, this is a great political culture that tries to incorporate everyone views as evidenced by the president reaching out to Republicans by including some of their views in the health reform bill. However, such a system is likely to be faced with partisanship and could lead to a failed implementation of excellent policies just because of different party affiliations and also wastes time in getting all the parties to agree on a particular issue. 

Balance of Power in the American Politics

It is true that the three branches of the United States government are separated political institutions who check and balance the power of the other branches while at the same time sharing powers with the other branches. Basically, the executive branch is tasked to execute or enforce the law, the legislative branch is tasked to make the law and the judicial branch is tasked to formulate the law.

In practice we can see this relationship in the congress or the legislative branch passing the law while the president or the executive branch possessing the power to veto the laws passed by Congress. However, the congress can over ride the presidents veto. On the other hand, the Supreme Court or the judicial branch can declare a law approved by both the Congress and the President as unconstitutional. From here, we must take note that  a Supreme court justice is nominated by the President to be approved by the Congress (Longley n.d.  Steve 2001). This describes how the three branches work together while checking and balancing the actions of each other.

Also I would want to say that this is one of the most important part or section of the constitution. The Article 1, 2, 3 of the United States Constitution that defined the role of each branch of government can be regarded as the foundation of the United States government. Every branch is given a specific job and assignment while also possessing the power to check and balance the actions of the other branches. The first three articles ensures that neither branch of the government can take over and abuse its power. If not on the articles of separation of powers in the constitution, it will impossible for us to maintain this kind of democratic government we have now. As Lord Byron famous aphorism would say,  Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely.


With the collapse of the cold war, new threats and challenges to world peace have emerged from different quarters. The spread of terrorism and religious fundamentalism, primarily in Muslim dominated states, is responsible for many of the attacks on civilian and military targets.  Trade disputes are also emerging as a potential cause for conflicts among nations (Hufbauer, 2006). Governance issues have raised tensions in states where the political dispensation is undemocratic. Major world powers have intervened in states to topple leaders they accuse of abusing democratic principles the war in Iraq is an example of such a case. In addition to these factors, conflicts over resources are likely to contribute to escalation of disputes as reserves become depleted.

Changes in leadership tend to alter the political landscape with respect to the ruling elite. However, a nations permanent interests are paramount irrespective of who has the reins of power.  US policy is informed of the need to ensure that its borders and citizens remain safe. Military adventurism as witnessed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia was aimed at eliminating any threat to American interests (Richardson, 2006). The Russian government eschews any interference in its spheres of influence which is why it supports states considered rogue by the western powers. China has complained of interference in its internal affairs when other states make overtures to the Dalai Lama or Taiwan administration.

Developing states emerging from political chaos and instability are trying to find their footing in a global environment that for the most part is biased against them. Unfair trade pacts and an impossible debt burden have forced these states to seek for development partners that can uplift their status without conditionalities. Chinas relative success in supplanting western states as the main donor nation has contributed to tensions between the ruling elite which support the west and those who embrace Chinas support. 

Most nations have different interpretations of power. The spread of US hegemony and suppression of any threats to this status is considered a show of power. Establishing democratic principles globally is part of the US strategy to entrench its presence the more states that ascribe to democratic practices, the greater the USs influence over them (Honig, 2008). Chinas power emanates from its economic strength and military might. In some instances, it substitutes economic pressure with shows of military might to achieve its goals. Asian and African states rely on their numbers to achieve regional advantages through bodies like ASEAN or the African Union. By applying diplomatic pressure, global players are forced to take note of their grievances. The power of numbers enables them to extract concessions from developed nations. 

In conclusion, global conflicts will escalate because of resource wars, acts of religious based terrorism, trade issues and the spread of US hegemony. Resolving such issues will require delicate diplomacy to bridge the differences between competing interests. In some cases armed conflict is the best option to subdue an enemy that believes in exterminating others. Establishing fair trade practices will lead to greater harmony in international relations.

Overview of the American Politics

We must take note that in many cases, the American government was a response to the oppression and cruelty of the British rulers during the conquest of during their time. The structure of the British government was greatly transformed to adopt a government that is based on equality, self government, individualism, diversity and unity. As stated in the Declaration of Independence itself (1776), The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the States. This convinced the founding fathers that the bond between the Great Britain and the United States must be cut.

This kind of history and experiences ultimately shaped the government structure and the policies of the new government of the United States. Liberty, equality, individualism, diversity and unity where emphasized to compensate to the lack of the British system. Up to today, we can still how these values are embedded to every citizen of the United States, seeing them as something automatic and natural rather than man made. In many respects, this also shapes the actions and policies of the United States with other nation, war and battles were declared for the expression of imposition of the said values to other nations that lacked it.

Today more than ever, the system of the United States is dominated by the principles of pluralism and bureaucratic rule putting majoritarianism and elitism on the background. With the continuous progress to break down divisions to race or color for example and to the emphasize of the importance of skills and talents, the United States is moving towards a system that will be attractive to the individuals of all walks of life (Zeigler 2009).

South Africa

South Africa is found in Africa and is located on the southern tip of the continent bordering the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the south and the east. South Africa is surrounded by other neighboring countries which include Namibia in the northwest, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north, and Mozambique and Swaziland that are found in the northeast (Pearson Education, 2009). According to the CIA publications in the world fact book, South Africa has a population of about 49 million people (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010).

South Africa has a rich historical background that stretches from the discovery of the early hominids, the early inhabitants, the colonial period, the apartheid era, independence, and the post colonial eventualities (Government Communication and Information System, 2009). However, this paper will only focus on the South African history stating from the colonial period in the 19th century all the way to independence and the period after independence. South Africa was colonized by the British and the Dutch in turns. Under the Dutch rule, apartheid laws were passed and racial discrimination became institutionalized touching on all aspects of social life. People were classified into three major categories whites, blacks, and coloreds in accordance to the Population Registration Act (Dugard, Haysom  Marcus, 1992). Under the apartheid regime South Africa witnessed the lowest ebb of human atrocities in the years that saw many black Africans killed and abused.

Upon independence, there was need to heal and reconcile the country that had just witnessed mayhem of the highest order and therefore the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions were formed to restore trust and peaceful coexistence amongst the South Africans (Wilson, 2001). The truth commission helped in ending the apartheid through the provision of a forum that exposed the countrys gross misconduct in human rights abuses, and in turn provided amnesty and compensation to particular individuals hence promoting national cohesion and reconciliation.

Problems of Democracy

Democracy is arguably the most desired form of government worldwide. Democracy, also referred to as the rule by many, is a political orientation where the majority of the citizens decide on the supreme power of the country through elections. In this case, they freely elect their leaders who in turn act as their representatives.  This can take forms of direct democracy where the people rule directly or representativeindirect democracy where representatives are elected to identify with the people to the government. Democracy is often associated with equality and freedom, aspects that are desired by many citizens as opposed to subjectivism and discrimination that result from political systems like autocracy, dictatorship and monarchy.

However, the democratic rule is also prone to problems that one would term as self perpetuated, which is, referring to the system. For instance, in a Democratic society, not the best policies are usually selected but what the majority of the people agree on, the utilitarian theory of sociology can best explain this. Second, the system is prone to partisanship where citizens support the leaders that they are affiliated to rather than the policies that they represent. Regardless of what many think, it is hard to have equality in a society that is composed of different ethnic, racial, economic and cultural backgrounds.

In most cases, the minorities are sidelined and there is always competition for power, where the strong win the race. This topic is of special interest to me because, all over the world, countries are urged to adapt the democratic system. On the other hand, I believe it is important to first compare the different kinds of political systems, all over the world, assess there benefits and harms before embarking on democracy. Examples of democratic societies include the United States and Western Europe. 

Essays for Citizens Redistricting Commission

Please describe why you are interested in serving on the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
As a citizen who has exhibited utmost neutrality to a persons racial background, impartiality to their economic standing, and a lifes mission of service, I would like to be given the opportunity to further this calling and be among the pioneers of the innovative legislation that is about to be implemented in the entirety of the State of California.  I am certain that giving the authority of redistricting to the people of California will result in countless advantages, as this meaningful responsibility will handled by the very people who will be comprising these districts.  Likewise, I believe that all of my lifes experiences have given me the expertise to be able to act and perceive accordingly, with the best intentions directed towards the society.  This verity may be evidenced not only in all of my professional endeavors, but in non-profit organizations that I have had the chance of serving as well. 

Primarily, my reason for wanting to be included in the very first Citizens Redistricting Commission stems from my belief that I have, throughout my professional career, made myself capable with this great responsibility.  More so, I believe that my expertise in various fields, such as in being a Supervisor in the County of Alameda, an Employment Counselor as well as an Eligibility Technician 3 with Gain Employment, in being the PresidentCEO of Continental Research Institute, which is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to bring medical aid to several African countries, and in serving as a Civil Grand Juror, where I held the position of Chairman of the Social Service Committee and the Vice Chair of the Government Oversight Committee, among others, makes me an equitable candidate in the aforementioned role especially since I have displayed characteristics that are based on racial equality, sincere public service, and in ensuring the dignity of our inherent political structure.                   
Please describe your ability to be impartial, as discussed in Regulation 60800.  You may include with this description any occupational, academic, volunteer, or other life experiences you have had that demonstrate this ability.

I believe I have displayed the characteristics to be unbiased and impartial to any individual, political group, or geographical area, especially in my endeavors as a pert of the 19-member Civil Grand Juror.  As what was aforementioned, I had been elected as the Chairman of the Social Services Committee and as the Vice Chair of the Government Oversight Committee, where my responsibilities call on me to be forthright and vigilant of any abuses perpetrated by any of the elected officials.  Here, I have been successful in leading the G.O.C. in its investigation of an entire citys council members, its city managers, and the professionals of that affluent community. 

This was particularly evidenced as we received unofficial reports of violations such as allegations of conflicts of interests, misuse of government properties, and of violations of the Brown Act.  The targeted individuals were then issued subpoenas to appear before the grand jury as part of our investigation, and were precluded from bringing with them their attorneys in the grand jury room.  After the completion of our investigation, I took a stroll poll and realized that a sufficient number of members were in favor of indictments due to willful misconduct in office by public officials.  After two weeks of further discussions, I was able to convince my colleagues that a strong-worded report was more appropriate and would prove to be much productive than what was initially planned.  In the final analysis, our published report gained a wide circulation. Two members of the city council were defeated in re-elections, and the third offender decided against seeking a re-election.  This case offered me an opportunity to effectively use my skills to achieve a successful outcome without causing political crisis or inflicting any avoidable hardships on the parties involved. 

Please describe your appreciation for Californias diverse demographics and geography, as discussed in Regulation 60805.

My responsibilities, both with my professional and voluntary undertakings, have allowed me to view firsthand Californias inherent diverse population, geographically as well as demographically.  This is especially true since majority of my past and present duties necessitated dealing with Californians as they seek to better their economic standings through employment, of which I had been tasked the responsibility to accept them according to the job description and their respective competitiveness. 

My experiences had brought me to the different regions of our great State.  One is in the County of Alameda, where I was the Program Supervisor responsible for reviewing the job performances of Employment Counselors.  Likewise, I represented the County in meetings with other government agencies and community-based organizations.  I was also an Employment Counselor of G.A.I.N., where I managed and tracked the participants activities through education, training, and employment programs.  Here, it is worth noting that the participants were from different backgrounds in economic, racial, geographic, gender, and religious.  In Treasure Island, CA, I was the Assistant Personnel Officer at the United States Naval Base.  I was in charge of manpower utilization, personnel management, employee counseling, and the coordination of staff transfers between divisions and bases, and had the responsibility to optimize the job performances of several hundreds of employees to ensure that all base functions were covered and executed in the highest military standards.  Lastly, as the President and founder of Continental Research Institute, based in Oakland, I exercise the final authority of determining the hiring of staffs, board memberships, and in implementing disciplinary measures.  From all of my exposures with the different aspects of the populace, I can confidently declare that I have a deep understanding of the diversity of California, not only in its geography, but more so in people that encompasses our State. 
Please describe the analytical skills you have that are relevant to serving on the Citizens Redistricting Commission, as discussed in Regulation 60827.

My professional experience covering more than twenty five years of service has benefited me with diverse expertise in various fields, ranging from practical and broad-based management including all aspects of personnel administration, to having the knowledge of country and state computer verification and budget systems, interpretation and application of federal, state, and country regulations, procedures, and policies.  My extensive experience has likewise benefited me with the expertise in the principles of supervision, in resolving complex situations, and in coordinating between departments and government agencies.  I have been successful with my very own non-profit corporation, the Continental Research Institute, in managing its finances, technical assistance, in collaborating with politicians, and in ensuring that all of these were targeted to benefit those of the needing. 

My ability to participate effectively in public hearings, to critically listen to testimonies, and from there form relevant questions leading to truthful conclusions were demonstrated and even furthered during my term as Chairman of the Social Services Committee and Vice Chair of the Government Oversight Committee of the Civil Grand Jury.  Loyal to the virtues upheld by the said organization, I have continued to live by these tenets diligence, impartiality, courage, and responsibility.  In all modesty, I was an effective member of this dynamic group, and with the position entrusted in me by fellow jurors, was a major factor in the decisions that were made. 

Given all these, my accumulated knowledge from all of the experiences with my professional career, non-profit endeavors, and participation in civil-based organizations, have made me aware of the cultural and societal realities prevailing in California.  I am aware of the gravity of the responsibilities to be entrusted to the commission tasked with our States redistricting, and I believe I am more than ready to face them.