The Canadian Political System


The Canadian political system as it is known today was first drafted by the "Fathers of Confederation" at the Quebec conference of 1864. This then became law when the constitution act was passed in 1867. This act gave the formal executive authority to Queen Victoria ( queen of Great Britain) which made Canada a sovereign democracy. The Canadian political system is therefore loosely based on the British system.

Now, Canada is an independent Federal state with the Queen still the head of state. Her powers are extremely limited however, as the Parliament passes the laws which the Queen gives the "Royal Assent" as the final step. The Governor General of Canada is the Queens representative in Canada and carries out all the Royal obligations when the Queen is not in Canada. The Governor is always a Canadian chosen by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. The length of office is normally five years for the Governor General.

The Houses of Parliament (housing the Federal Government) are located in Canada's capital city, Ottawa. There are 3 main sections to the Canadian Parliament. The Queen as the Head of state; the Senate (appointed on the Prime Minister's recommendations) and the elected House of Commons.

The Federal Government has the power to "make laws for the peace, order and good government of Canada" which includes International policies, Defence, Immigration, Criminal Law, Customs and Border control.

The Senate

The Senate is made up of 105 Senators who are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. These Senators are men and women from all of the Provinces and from a wide variety of backgrounds. They can serve on the Senate up until age 75 and have to be a Canadian citizen, over age 30, own $ 4,000 of equity in land in their home Province, have over $ 4,000 as personal net worth and live in the province represented. Each Province or Territory has a set number of Senators – 24 each from the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario, 6 each from Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 6 from Newfoundland and Labrador and a further 1 each from the three Territories.

The main role of the Senate is to read over and examine the "Bills" sent from the House of Commons though they can also initiate Bills. This process ensures that no rogue bills will become law, though only rarely do the Senate reject a Bill – sending it back to the House for amendment. The Bills are subjected to the full legislative process by the Senate and if passed will be given to the Governor General for Royal Assent and thus become Law.

House of Commons

The real power is held by the House of Commons. Here, the members of Parliament (MP's) are elected by the general public during a Federal election – normally every 5 years. The country is split up into constituencies (total 308 by population size) and whichever candidate has the most votes wins the right to represent that constituency and take their "seat" in the Parliament.

Each Most candidates represent a particular political party and the party with the most "seats" takes over as the Government. The main parties in Canada are Paul Martins Liberals (ruling), Stephen Harpers Conservatives, Jack Layton's New Democratic Party, The Bloc Quebecois and The Green Party to name the largest.

The leader of the political party that wins the election becomes the Prime Minister of Canada (currently Paul Martin of the Liberals). The Prime Minister effectively runs the country with the support and advice of his Cabinet. The Cabinet is made up of "Ministers" chosen by the Prime Minister to be responsible for certain areas of the Government. There are ministers of Health, Finance, Defence and Immigration to name a few. These areas of responsibility are called "Portfolio's" and each minister will have a large team of civil servants (normally the experts in that field) working for him / her. Only the ministers change during an election – not the civil servants.

Though the MP's represent their local constituency, their main duties are debating the laws to be made and, depending on their Party, either supporting or opposing the Government. The opposition is the political party with the second most seats in the House and their main job is to hold the government accountable for their decisions.

A Government with a lot of seats in the House will be strong and able to pass most laws they want through Parliament. Conversely, a weak Government (such as now) does not have the majority of the seats and has to rely on the support of another party to form an effective Government.

After each election, the Senate and the House of Commons either elect (House) or appoint (Senate) a Speaker. The Speaker is in charge of proceedings and has to be impartial, enforcing the rules of the House / Senate during debates and votes. The Speaker presides over the House from a raised chair with the Government MP's om the right and the opposition on the Left.

Making the Laws

To start with, the House of Commons members introduce a "Bill" (legislative proposal). The details of the Bill are read in the House without debate and then the Bill is printed (the first reading).

During the second reading the principles of the Bill are debated followed by a vote. If successful, the Bill is then sent to the Committee stage.

A committee will listen to testimony, examine the Bill and then submits a report to the House recommending it as it is, with amendments or scrapped. From here it goes to the report stage.
In the report phase, any amendments are debated and voted on. Then it will pass to the third reading. This is where the House finally debates and votes on the final draft – if it passes the vote it is sent to the Senate.

The Senate put the Bill through the same process as the House – if it comes through all that (normally does!) It is given Royal Assent and becomes Canadian Law!

Detailed information on more this subject ca be found at Http://


Source by Dave Lympany

John Dryden and Social and Literary Background of His Age


John Dryden (1631-1700), the major poet of the Restoration Age, was born at Aldwincle, a village near Oundle in Northampton shire. His paternal grand father named Sir Eramus Dryden was a baroner and his mother was Lady Pickering, the first cousin of Sir Gilbert Pickering. He received his primary education in the village school of neighbouring Tichmarsh. From Tichmarsh, he passed on to Westminster school about the year 1642. From Westminster, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1650.He was close to Sir Robert Howard that friendship caused of his marriage with Lady Elizabeth in 1663, the daughter of his friend, but the marriage proved unhappy.

Undoubtedly, he was an original and discriminating critic. Dr Johnson called him, "the father of English Criticism". Besides, he was the founder of modern prose style. He was an outstanding poet and dramatist. In his age, minor literary critics were so many with their erratic work, but the major contemporaries with significant work were Thomas Rhymer, John Dennis and Jeremy Collier. It would be better to discuss social and literary background of his age (1660-1700).

A. Social Background:

The Age of Dryden begins with the Restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 till the death of the poet in 1700. It will not be exaggeration to say that he was the dominant literary figure who nicely represented the period. His age was deeply influenced by the three historical events: the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, the religious and political controversies and the Popish plot, and the Golden Revolution of the year 1688. As far as the Restoration of Charles II is concerned, it increased corruption etc. It took a violent reaction against the Puritan restraints. All the values ​​of society, what the Puritan had prevailed, were violated. The king was very odd had a number of mistresses and illegitimate children. He was irresponsible and unpatriotic who always stood against his promises, broke his treaty with the Dutch and with his own ministers and betrayed his country. His court was dishonourable and the parliament passed the bills against the church and the state with the thirst of revenge from those who were connected with the puritan government of Cromwell. The House of Lords was increased by the creation of hereditary titles, desecrated men and unabashed women. Even the judiciary was not safe.

In this era, the unpleasantness in the field of religious and political parties was strongly vivid. There were the two central political parties, the Whigs and the Tories. They divided the atmosphere of the country with their touch. The Whigs was in favour of limiting the royal power in the interests of the nation and the parliament, where as the Tories was different and it supported the 'divine right' theory of the kings. The both parties proved fruitful for the men of literary abilities. They were in pursuit of the support and bribed them with places and pensions. The writers of the day were not free from the political bias and contest.

The religious conflict or bias was more bitter. The nation was dominantly protestant and the catholic worked under a number of disabilities. They had to pay higher taxes and were not permitted to hold any office under the Crown. Such hatred for Catholics was a great issue of that times writing.

Apart from it, in this era the Popish plot comes because the king was very weak in the field of religion but his brother was a Roman Catholic. Charles II had no legitimate son or heir of the throne. After him, his brother James would sit on the throne. The plot was made to exclude him from the throne and create the atmosphere to sit the Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of Charles II. This controversy was called Popish plot by Titus Oates. Shaftsbury made various attempts to exclude James but the king supported his brother and the way was cleaned for the accession of James. The famous poem of Dryden, Absalam and Achitophel reflects or interprets these religious or political controversies or prejudices of the day.

James II ascended the throne in 1685. He had various plots and under them, he tried to establish Catholicism in the country. Such misrule made him quite unpopular in his country in a short time. In reaction, the nation stood against him and the Bloodless Revolution of 1688 restored the country to pleasant and healthy atmosphere after the suffering of immorality and corruption which had been running since the Restoration. James was exiled and the protestant William and Mary sat on the throne.

B. Literary Background:

In literature, this school of criticism is called Neo-classical, pseudo classical or Augustan Age. In this era, literary men began to imitate the French writers. It was a blind imitation led them copy the worst work instead of using their wit. So it was only copy. They call it Augustan Age because the writers of the time considered their age was as glorious as the age of King Augustus Caesar of Rome. That age produced brilliant literary figures as Horace, Virgil, Longinous and Quintillian. Where as, in this pseudo-classical age, John Dryden was a dominant figure that's why it is called the Age of Dryden.

The rise of Neo-Classicism broke away the chains of Puritanism. The Post Restoration literature was of Elizabethan Age where as the neo-classical literature stood opposite to the Elizabethan Romanticism. Before Dryden, Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson were two great poets of Elizabethan Age. After Ben Jonson, literary activity in England suffered a lot. Between Ben Jonson and John Dryden is hardly found any major critic because of religious and social controversies. The Restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 penetrated a favourable atmosphere with French influence that supplanted sensuous and romantic Italian influence. Charles II and the other literary men were under this influence because they had passed the most time in France. On the return to England, they brought a new gale of French literature, which renounced old ideals and standards. They demanded the English poetry on the new style. The Italian influence was forgone and the literary men started to imitate the French writers blindly. So they copied the worst work instead of using their wit. The influence of French comedy is seen in clumsiness and indecency of The Restoration Comedy of Manners of Dryden, Wycherley and Congreve. The mutual influence of French and Classical models of tragedy is seen in a new genre, the heroic tragedy. It is well represented by Dryden's 'Tyrannic Love'. This influence is also responsible for the growth of the opera in the Restoration England.

This reaction was against the romantic inclinations and favoured realism to a great extent. In case of realism, its inception was very bad. The early Restoration writers painted realistic pictures of a corrupt court and society. Their emphasis was on vices rather than virtues and produced coarse and low plays without interest or moral significance. Later, it got change and increased the writers' interest for the study of practical motives which ruled human actions. One can not gainsay from this statement that it was the reaction against the extravagances of both the Elizabethans and the Metaphysical. John Donne is a metaphysical poet and his followers liked a revolt in favour of order, balance and sanity in literature. They used unlimited hyperboles, far- fetched and violent similes and metaphors and conceits. This reaction supported the tendency towards directness and simplicity and expression. The writers of previous ages were fond of using extravagance in thought and language. The sentences were enriched with classical quotations and references. The Restoration writers opposed it and formed rules and said fare well to the romantic fancy. So the emphasis was on correctness and decorum. Correctness means to foster moderate opinions moderately expressed. The decorum was to pursue the rules of ancients as interpreted by the French. Dryden clearly marked this new tendency and by virtue of his influence, the writers developed that formalism of style which was wrongly called classicism.

In this age, the growth of science, religious and political controversies was found. All gave birth to prose. Arnold says, "The Restoration marks the real moment of birth of our modern English prose." The previous writers were erratic and their work was over loaded with classical allusions and quotations.Actually, the Elizabethan prose was not appropriate for telling a plain story. The epigrammatic style of Bacon and the grandiloquent prose of Milton could not be suitable for scientific, historical, political and philosophical writings or novel -writing. The spirit of this new type of prose developed and Dryden was the chief leader. His work, 'Dramatic Poesy' introduced a new model of prose which was completely different from the prose of previous ages. He wrote in a plain, simple but precise style, free from exaggeration. The other writers also came under his influence and they also helped to develop the new prose style by their own individual advance. It was rather free from monotony.

Prose was the eminent style or weapon of this era. Even the poetry of this era was also prosaic and it was used for narrative, satiric or didactic purposes. The poetry was for the purpose of persuasion but not for inspiration. It was the favourable style of narrating the controversies that caused the growth of satire. The best poetry of this eon is satirical. Dryden's 'Absalom and Achitophel' is a best known political satire. In this satire, Dryden defends the king against the Earl of Shaftesbury who is represented as Achitophel. His other work 'Mac Flecknoe' is an example of personal satire. It also contains a scathing personal attack on Thomas Shadwell who was once a friend of Dryden. 'The Rehearsal' depicts the literary vices of the time and is the first literary satire in English literature. His other two poems 'Religio laici' and 'The Hind and the Panther' are theological and controversial.

The other contribution to this age was the growth and the perfection of the heroic couplet. Chaucer used it but insisted on the thought or notion. Where as the writers of the Restoration gave importance to the form. Waller and Dryden used it with literary fashion. The couplet became "Closed". Its pair of lines showed a complete thought and was stated as precisely as could be. So it became the order of the day and all other forms of versification were expelled. The dominancy remained a single century and later its freshness passed away.

Such controversies disturbed the age a lot but added a great help in case of literature. It also proved John Dryden an exponent of this neo-classicism and Bunyan was, too, appreciated who worked like John Milton. It brought novelty and expelled monotony from the literature.


Source by Ali Asghar Joyo

Types of Subplots – Novels


There are many types of subplots used in novels. Some types of subplots include a romantic subplot, political, macabre, artful / environmental subplots, historical subplots, thought path subplots, and character subplots. A subplot is a small story that is told throughout part, or all, of the main plot. There is no limit on how many subplots there can be, but there are limitations to how well authors can maintain such plots. There are a few key subplots that nearly every story uses.

Romantic Subplots
These are subplots that provide great filler moments throughout a novel, especially when you're experiencing writer's block. Romantic subplots can be copy plots of other romantic scenes, which is why they're great additions to the main plot when you are having difficulty proceeding.

Political Subplots
Nearly every book utilizes this game of politics within their story. The only novels that can not use this are those meant for a reading age that is too young to comprehend the complexities. These subplots are fantastic for filling in large gaps if you are having a tough time connecting sections of the main plot.

In a political subplot, a character explores the politics or social situations of their environment. This can range from how horribly a teen parent reacts to a situation, to a war room gathering where everyone discusses what's supposed to happen. While politics usually mean dealing with some form of government, political subplots deal with environmental hierarchies.

Macabre Subplots
You know that show that replays the same corny line during a mysterious investigation, or how a novel spends a useless amount of time describing the intentions of a bad person? This is a macabre subplot, and it tends to be quite useful in the beginning of fantasy novels. Good examples of novels that begin with macabre sub-plots are Lord of the Rings, by JRRTolkien, and Harry Potter by JK Rowling.

Harry Potter even maintains the macabre sub-plot and brings it into the main plot.
A macabre sub-plot carries its own story of horror fiction, but is useful for an aspect of the main plot. This is not to say that a description of how the murderer killed a victim is a subplot, but if that description is used to identify the difference between two different murderers then the description becomes a macabre sub-plot.

Artful / Environmental Subplots
These sub-plots are very unique as they use the environment as if it has a story of its own. These sub-plots are very difficult to create, and even harder to maintain. They require an artistically tuned mind to describe how the environment has a story of its own. The sub-plot may be so subtle that the reader does not take notice.

Historical Subplots
These subplots are extremely short and are useful when bringing in a new character that would not normally have been there. These subplots refer to something that has already happened but the reader is unaware of it. Most of the time, the historical subplot is introduced by using words such as two hours before or meanwhile. These subplots are often deeply tied into the main plot.

Thought Path Subplots
When you've got nothing to write and when all other subplots seem pointless, the thought path subplot is your savior. This is where you take the reader's attention away from the storyline to explore a character's thought process of everything that is happening or will happen.

Character Subplots
These subplots are extremely difficult to maintain without losing focus on the main character. They are usually found within stories that use the past of an auxiliary character to describe actions that would otherwise be illogical. A character subplot is a small story behind a character or a secondary main plot that is heavily entwined with the main plot, such as a mother's view and a daughter's view.


Source by John Halas

Animal Farm By George Orwell – A Novella Of Didactic Language And Political Ideology


Animal Farm, a masterpiece novella by George Orwell was written in 1945. It falls under novella as it is shorter and contains a less complex plot unlike a novel. The crux matter of Animal Farm is about how Czarist Russia evolved into communist Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917. Orwell used the animal farm as the backdrop representing Russia and the animals that dwelled in the farm as the who's who in the Russian Revolution. The Animal Farm is an allegory-a narrative that uses literary devices to unveil concealed meanings and messages.

The Oxford Dictionary defines allegory as a story, poem, or picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. Not only that, Animal farm is also a satire. The same Oxford Dictionary defines a satire as the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to mock, expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other social issues. Animal farm fits into both these categories aptly.

At the time when the book was published, it was not that popular, did not command a widespread reading because Russia was an ally of the West in their fight against German aggression under Hitler in World War II. In a clear indication of belittling the Russians and its communist leaders, the western world saw it as an act of non-goodwill if they popularized the book in droves.

The author himself was not an anti-communist. In fact George Orwell is said to be a socialist who supported the belief that industries should be under the control of the working class (workers) for the good of everyone, not just benefitting the elites, who controlled these industries. However, he witnessed the corrupt revolution of the communist in Russia, eventually leading to a change of perception.

Orwell was perplexed on how the communist had diverted, departed from their initial noble goals of seeking a classless society. Orwell's conviction was that he owes the world a warning of how destructive unchecked authority was.

He was adamant to show the other side of communism when it was taken too far without a check and balance and how the leaders of this cause succumbed to worldly pleasures, the same class bound pleasures that they despised on other ideologies; hence the world got to witness the birth of Animal Farm. Orwell had used allegory to the best of effect, to criticize the hypocrisy of communism, especially its overzealous leaders, their actions and their thirst for merciless murders and mass killings to maintain their status quo.

The use of pigs, of all animals, was the acme of this novella. In the thought of a layman, pigs are lazy animals, non-productive and gleefully end as meat in most taste buds. However, Orwell was way ahead of his time. He used pigs as his protagonists and antagonists in Animal Farm for the same reasons of how modern science had revealed quite shockingly though, about these creatures. Scientists want people to think of pigs as more than just meat. Among other talents, pigs are known to have excellent long-term memories and they are skilled at completing mazes and recognizing symbols, just like our close cousins-chimpanzees. They also have empathy and can learn from each other in groups.

Besides that, Orwell had used pigs as an irony, debunking all the myths surrounding these fleshy creatures as lazy but wise, gluttonous but conniving, immobile but strategist who is vivacious in thoughts, plotting and scheming a plan discreetly. Pigs are fleshy, sized animals known for their slobs. Orwell was quick in equating some world leaders especially from the communist ideology states to pigs probably because of the state of hypocrisy that they lived their lives; floating in the wealth produced by the proletariat who for a major part of their miserable lives remained poor and desolate, where else the leaders were fat, ugly and precariously healthy.

The Old Major in Animal Farm was a pig, portrayed as old and wise, experienced and well-respected. Old Major had a dream where 'all animals are equal'. This was relayed to the animals, who rejoiced in the prospect of relieving themselves from the clutches of the elites – the humans. Orwell used Old Major to represent Karl Marx, the founder of Communism and the Communist Manifesto, which is based on Marxism. The words uttered by Old Major represent Marx's words on the evils of feudalism and capitalism.

The utterance also accentuated on the idealistic world of communism. Thereby, the Russian Revolution in 1917 was inspired by those who believed big in the doctrines of communism. In Marxist methodology, it originally used economic and sociopolitical inquiry to analyze and critique the development of capitalism and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change.

According to Marxist doctrines, class conflict within capitalism arises due to escalating contradictions between highly productive mechanized and socialized production performed by the proletariat (workers), and private ownership and appropriation of the surplus product in the form of surplus value (profit) by a small minority of private owners called the bourgeoisie. In the Animal Farm, the bourgeoisie were represented by Mr. and Mrs. Jones, the humans who owned the animals, frequently ill-treating them. Mr. and Mrs. Jones can also be equated in direct reference to the last Czar of Russia – Nicholas II and his consort Alexandria who were disliked by the Russians at that time for unnecessarily dragging Russia into World War I. Apparently, the animals exhausted their patience, began to rebel , eventually booting the humans out of the farm and took control of their own destiny.

Besides Old major, another pig character was Snowball. Snowball rose as one of the leaders in Animal Farm. Snowball was depicted as a vivacious and an ingenious character. He was given the task of spreading the attained glory of Animal Farm throughout the neighbourhood. Snowball represents Leon Trotsky – Lenin's second in command in the Russian Revolution and the leader of the 'Red Army' in the subsequent Russian Civil War.

Trotsky also wanted to spread the word about communism to other nations. However, fate had it differently when both Snowball and Trotsky were expunged by ruthless and corrupt individuals who craved for power more than anything else.

Napoleon was another pig character who rose as a leader in the novella. Rather than influencing other animals and working through consensus, he secretly raised nine puppies into ferocious man-eating animals. These nine puppies were his personal army of bodyguards which he used and manipulated to achieve his goals, no matter how treacherous and brutal they were. Napoleon represents Josef Stalin-the General Secretary of the Russian Communist Party from 1922 until his death in 1952.

The nine puppies were an analogy to the KGB – the Communist party's secret police, known for its ruthlessness. The KGB carried out all of Stalin's commands religiously without fear or favour.

The false confessions of disloyalty in Animal Farm, and the subsequent executions were modeled at Stalin's great purge in the 1930s in which anyone who is seen as a counter-revolutionist was killed mercilessly.

Squealer, another character in Animal Farm is a pig who always spread persuasive messages supporting the leader's goals and objectives. Squealer is an embodiment of hypocrisy and propaganda. He reinvents the rules and history in order to confuse the other animals in the farm. He could also represent Pravda- the communist newspaper in Russia which was the official propaganda mouthpiece of the party in the 1930s. With his wizardry like words and manipulative articulation, Squealer kept the public (the animals) calm and under control with his often misleading and crooked messages and announcements.

Animal Farm serves as a reminder of how humans crave for unlimited power to rule the lives of innocent people through 'divide and rule' and 'manage by fear' tactics to achieve their personal goals. Along that line, some made it into the history books as either being exemplary or despised. This novella is excellent to be used as a reading resource for middle and high school students.

Students will not only learn the English Language, but also the various literary devices – allegory, satire, irony, metaphor and personification that come with it. The novella contains lots of humour from which the writer mocks the actions of the leader and students will also be able to apply their thoughts out of the box to identify why some individuals had managed to obtain power, how some maintained this power at all cost, how some misused the power entrusted on them for their own personal gains and agenda, how some abused their power using violence and threats, and how some had lost to the people-power insurgencies.

Apart from that, the historical events representing this novella will provide an insight of Communism and Russian history. Marxism subsequently gained support across much of Europe, and under the control of the Bolshevik Party, a communist government seized power during the Russian revolution, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union, the world's first Marxist state, in the early 20th century.


Source by RG Mohan Rethnaswamy

EPA Disrespected by Florida's Politicians Concerning Phosphate Radiation


Florida's phosphate dilemma started a lifetime ago when fate and the Army Corps of Engineers happened to uncover a valuable resource called phosphate (4). Little did Floridians know, the Florida phosphate industry was born.

The Florida phosphate industry can trace its roots back to Coronet Phosphate Company started in 1906. (4) The industry was small for many years because phosphate mining at that time was back breaking work with picks, shovels, and wheelbarrows in mosquito infested areas. During the middle of the 20th century (2), phosphate mining changed forever, with the introduction of the drag line.

The mining story continues in the 1950's by the Smith-Douglas Corp. located in Norfolk, Virginia until about 1960. Agrico Chemical Co. bought and operated the phosphate mines until 1973. At that time, Gardinier, a French mining company purchased and operated Florida's major phosphate mines. (1)

I remember Gardinier phosphate trucks passing through the town of Brandon, Florida on State Road Highway 60 in the 1970's. In Southwest Central Florida, Highway 60 is the main truck route from the largest phosphate mines in Bartow and Mulberry, and other sites as well, to the shipping Port of Tampa, FL.

In 1985, Cargill Fertilizer, Inc. bought and operated the phosphate mines until 1994 when the Mosaic Co. purchased the phosphate mines and still owns them today.

As you can see, the phosphate industry starting in 1950's through present day has passed the environmental catastrophes on to the next mining company owner, one after another for over 70 years. That is how long it took to build the mountainous gypsum stacks we see today on the Florida landscape. The radioactive gypsum stacks have taken an entire generation to make.

During the last 70 years, you may ask, where do Florida's elected officials stand? Florida's elected officials stand with the phosphate industry and have for decades. Florida's elected officials and phosphate mine owners love money enough to fight the federal government, the EPA's Superfund project, and countless environmentally based lawsuits to keep the mines open for business, seemingly without concern for Florida residents.

Florida's elected officials say the phosphate industry is too important for the state's economy to impose fines or force the phosphate industry to neutralize their severe man-made environmental catastrophes. Am I saying Florida's elected officials are not protecting their constituents for the all mighty dollar? You bet your bottom I am. These statements are based on well-known facts and not just my opinion as you will see, please read on.

The example that follows will give you some idea of ​​the political power in phosphate mining. In 2003, the EPA officials stated a potential problem in Lakeland, FL. The problem was so bad that they (EPA) considered certain sub-divisions in Lakeland, FL to be candidates for emergency cleanup action. Also, low-income and minority communities might also be affected, internal documents show.

However, Florida's elected officials intervened, and the agency (EPA) Superfund project did little more in the way of studying the issue over the subsequent decade. Local residents were kept from hearing the EPA concerns, and no remedial actions were taken. Also, no local news or national news affiliate mentioned the contaminated residential properties in Lakeland, FL sub-divisions. How can this be you ask?

Florida's phosphate mining industry owners, who champion the second largest revenue producing industry in Florida (2), made it known that they vigorously opposed the EPA declaring the parcels Superfund sites. Such a move could make mining companies liable for up to 11 billion dollars in cleanup costs, according to estimates of the potential scope of the contamination that the EPA inspector general included in a 2004 report.

The EPA gave up their argument after a decades-long battle with Florida politicians and phosphate industry officials over the clean-up of phosphate mining toxic waste "in an area that could expose more than 100,000 residents to cancer-causing radiation levels." The EPA submits and will leave it to Florida's elected officials to decide the fate of the sites in and around Lakeland, FL.

As described above, the EPA did little to escalate the issue at Lakeland area sites until 2010, agency documents show. By now, EPA officials estimated that as many as 120,000 residents living in 40,000 homes are exposed to potentially unsafe radiation levels. (3)

Following news reports in 2010 about the standoff between Florida's politicians and the EPA, the EPA officials began making plans for an aerial radiation survey that was to enable them to get a better idea of ​​the scope and severity of any contamination (3). However, the progress stalled after a group of Florida politicians "pressured" the EPA not to conduct the survey.

Florida's elected officials said they do not believe direct exposure to radiation from the soil is a significant risk. Florida's officials said radium contaminated soils are not of concern, but indoor radium should be targeted instead.

Removing indoor radon contamination is generally less expensive than cleaning contaminated soil. Indoor radon pollution can often be cleaned through the installation of ventilation systems while cleaning radium-contaminated soil can require massive excavation projects at an enormous expense.

Based on the EPA, focusing on radon, but not soil contamination is not how the federal government would typically address a contaminated site. The EPA believes this approach will not account for the gamma ray exposure to residents, and does not account for the risk of inhaling or ingesting the contaminated soils.

In addition, the EPA benchmark level that Florida's elected officials say they would use to determine whether action is needed to address indoor radon pollution is not based on health considerations. Instead, it is based on how much radon current ventilation technology is capable of eliminating.

According to the federal agency's website, there is no "safe" level of radon exposure. (3) The US Congress passed legislation in 1988 setting a goal of reducing indoor radon levels to between 0.2 and 0.7 picocuries per liter, but the technology needed to meet this objective did not yet exist.

Even though the EPA's Superfund program does consider the amount of radon gas entering homes, decisions related to remediating man-made radium contamination are usually driven primarily by how much of the radioactive materials are found in the soil. The EPA may have undermined, due to political pressure and the lack of funding, their "entire regulatory structure" for cleanup of radium-contaminated soils.


1. Acquisition History | State Lands | Florida DEP.
2. State of
3. State Library and Archives of Florida
4. Florida Memory. com


Source by David Hammock

Gender Talk


In the African-American studies book Gender Talk, Dr. Johnnetta Cole and Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall argue that, in the 21st century, issues of sexism must be addressed along with issues of racism in the African American community in order for the community to fully succeed.

Dr. Cole is the President of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is President emerita of Spelman College and Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Women's Studies, and African American Studies at Emory University. A nationally known African American feminist-intellectual , she is the author of several books, including Conversations: Straight Talk with America's Sister President.

Beverly Guy-Sheftallis the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies and English, and the Director of the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spelman College. She is the editor of Words of Fire : An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought and co-editor (With Rudolph Byrd) of Traps: African American Men on Gender and Sexuality among many other publications.

They examine the historical conflict between race and gender issues in the Black community, the impact of feminism, the role of the Black Church, attitudes about sexuality, and popular culture such as hip-hop. The authors boldly assert that, without attention to these matters, there can be no long-lasting solution to many of the community's race problems. They point to the impact of sexism on the oppression of Black women, including male dominance within Black communities.

Drawing upon a vast array of personal testimonies , both from previously published autobiographies and from interviews gathered specifically as part of the research for the book, Gender Talk provides a history of Black feminist struggles and debates up until now. This is necessary because Black audiences, male and female, have been unwilling to be persuaded by feminist arguments on the grounds that our experiences as victims of racism absolve Blacks from the willing participation in the sins of the patriarchy.

Cole and Guy-Sheftall have managed to deflect that issue, effectively drawing Black men and women into a honest discussion about how gender inequality affects the entire African-American community. Gender Talk discusses with passion, the process by which Black communities have arrived at its current situation, in which 54 percent of Black children live in single-parent, largely female-headed and less prosperous households, 68 percent of African-American children are born to unmarried mothers and 47 percent of the prison population and 29 percent of those who are confined to mental hospitals are Black. Several Black men emerge from prisons HIV infected and "on the down low" (having secretive sex with other men), passing the disease on to unsuspecting Black women and Black gay men.

The book is constructed of wonderfully argued chapters on the ways some of the more commercial forms of hip-hop culture participate in the misogynist brain-washing of its youth and the difficulties of living as a gay man or lesbian in a largely intolerant Black community. It also talks about the longstanding problem of violence against women within Black communities, the Back church's role in supporting homophobia, and the Black power movement's opposition to Black feminist movement.

The chapter entitled No Respect: Gender Politics and Hip-Hop, discusses how mental damage is being done to young African-American males and females because of misogynic lyrics of rap music. There has been a war brewing between Black men and women that started in the sixties and is still going on in the new millennium. The misogynic atmosphere of hip-hop has not helped tension that exists between Black men and women, particularly amongst the youth.

Over the past fifteen years, hip-hop has become more misogynistic and disrespectful of Black girls and women than other popular music genre and it is sad because hip-hop is an African-American creation. The casual references to sex and other forms of violence and the soft-porn visuals and messages of many rap music videos has been seared into the consciousness of young Black boys and girls and that is why I have seen boys as young as ten years old, referring to girls and women as nothing-assed whores and young girls referring to themselves as bitches.

The chapter entitled Black, Lesbian, and Gay: Speaking the Unspeakable is moving, with testimony from such important cultural figures as the poets Audre Lorde, Joseph Beam, and novelist Samuel Delany. Cole and Guy-Sheftall explore the history of African and African-American homosexuality, starting with anthropologist Ife Amadiume's study, Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender and Sex in an African Society (1987).

Amadiume showed that homosexual relationships existed in Africa before colonization. Woman-to-woman marriages were not uncommon in some pre-colonial African kinship systems. Cole and Guy-Sheftall discusses how in many African cultures, same-sex intimacy was equal with heterosexuality. In America, sexual relations between slaves in the 17th century in New York were more complex than previously imagined. New evidence suggests that both consensual and forced sex took place between male slaves, as well as the rape of black boys by white masters.

They also discuss the down low brothers, Black men who are homosexual but pretend to be heterosexual and Black women who keep secret from the world that they are married to black gay men, even when these men put them and their unborn children at risk for HIV . Professors Cole and Guy-Sheftall feel that as long as the church, which historically has been the backbone of the African-American community, is intolerant of any other form of sexuality except heterosexual, Blacks will continue to be in denial and AIDS will continue ravishing families.

The most personally disturbing material to me in the book concerns Black America's insensitivity to the issue of violence against Black women. The African-American community rallied around Mike Tyson and R. Kelly, both of these men were charged with sex crimes. The victims in both cases were blamed and defiled for trying to a bring a Black man down. The professors ask the question, "What makes Black men think they can be born and raised in a culture that has profound contempt for all women and place the Black woman at the bottom, and escape unaffected?" Too often, Black men seek to fit themselves into tired White patriarchal modes of behavior that is destructive to the entire community. You can not rape, beat or humiliate someone into submission. Sooner or later, they will strike back.

For research on this book, in the summer and fall of 1999, Cole and Sheftall conducted series of four to six hour interviews with prominent black intellectuals and activists, asking them questions about what they saw as the most pressing issues of gender in the black community . Among those participating were Manning Marable, director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University, Calvin Butts, minister of New York's Abyssinian Baptist Church, Rudolph Byrd, director of African American Studies at Emory University, and Elaine Brown, former chair of the Black Panther Party.

They also conducted a weekend long talk session at the Ford Foundation on November 19, 1999, with participants Dazon Dixon Diallo, president of Sister Love, Inc., the first and largest women's AIDS organization in the Southeast, James Early, writer and director of cultural heritage policy at the Smithsonian, Calvin Hernton, professor emeritus at Oberlin College, sociologist bell hooks, and Haki Madhubuti, founder and publisher of Third World Press.

In particular, the chapter, Having Their Say: Conversations with Sisters and Brothers, draws heavily upon this material gathered directly from interview and multilogue participants, producing a range of narratives describing what it was like to grow up in a Black family ruled by patriarchy. Many pay tribute to the ways in which their parents resisted and taught their children that men and women were equal.

For instance, Ruby Sales, a former civil rights activist who grew up in the South, describes her father as "atypical" in that he would "hang out clothes, wash, iron, cook, and on Saturday he would say to my mother, 'Mrs. Sales you'll have breakfast in bed today and I'll do everything.' My mother did not cook dinner for us; my dad was the cook in our family so therefore all my brothers do the same thing. My father braided our hair and my divorced brother braids his daughter's hair. "

However, some of the best testimonies were from "ordinary" African-American women. The Black women you see everyday on trains going to work or to college. Audree Irons, an administrative assistant at Spelman College, talks about the strong women in her family who always kept going in spite of any adversities that might come their way. "Men leave, we keep going. We do not miss a beat. Like later for them. That's basically the attitude my mother and grandmother had. It was like we'll throw them out like garbage and we'll just keep on going ; they assumed the role of both male and female if necessary. "

I could really relate to that passage in the book. So many of my friends are in emotionally and physically abusive relationships and they can not find the courage within themselves to stand alone. They really believe that it better to be abused than be alone and that is totally insane. These women have not yet realized that sometimes in order to become stronger, a woman needs to stand alone and take care of herself.

Black Panther member, Elaine Brown describes the way Black Panther men thought of female participants as "smart bitches" who needed to be silenced. "A woman in the Black Power movement was considered, at best irrelevant. A woman asserting herself was a pariah. Angela Davis was run out the Black Panther Party because she refused to bow down to the men in the group. A woman attempting the role of leadership was making an alliance with the 'counter-revolutionary, man-hating, lesbian, feminist white bitches.' It was a violation of some Black Power principle that was left undefined. " Reading that totally amazed me; how could the Black Panther Party be so stupid as to throw out one of the most intelligent and articulate individuals to come out of the Civil Rights Movement just because she had the guts to stand up for herself?

That same mentality still exists among some Black men today. If a Black woman is strong and assertive, she is categorized as an "Angry Bitch" who does not know her place. She is not suppose to articulate her thoughts in anyway because it not important. As long as that type of mentality exists in the African-American community, there can never be unity. It takes a village to raise a child and if the village is at war with each other, what happens to the children?

The one review that I found for this book was by Denise Simon, a contributor for Black Issues, a magazine geared towards African Americans. She felt that Gender Talk was more of a overview of sexism than an analysis. I did not agree with this review because the authors gave clear, concise reasons why conversations about gender are critical to African Americans. This book was an excellent analysis of sexism amongst Blacks and perhaps she was negative because the truth hurts sometimes.

If anything is wrong with this book, there is little discussion about Black women who keep sexism alive. I know too many sisters who have no problem labeling another women a slut or whore in order to make themselves look good in the eyes of some man. We as African-American women have to stick together in order to raise our children, since some of us are doing alone. We can not allow pettiness and competition over men destroy our community.

Even with this flaw, Gender Talk It is a wonderful book. It is entirely successful in its intended goal, which is to make it easy for even a bona fide fool to comprehend the urgency of gender issues. The issue of gender very much affects the African-American community, and this book manages to explore every aspect.


Source by Kathy Henry

To What Political Party Did Abraham Lincoln Belong?


Barack Obama is a Democrat. Most people know this. What many people may not know is that the man Mr. Obama looks to for the most political (and now presidential) inspiration and guidance was a …. Republican!

That's right. Barack Obama's hero, Abraham Lincoln, was a Republican. Lincoln was not just any ole Republican either. He was among the founders of the Republican Party and was the first Republican to be elected President.

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin. Its principal goal was to stop the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Lincoln had been involved with the Whig Party, which was disintegrating due, in large part, to sectional rivalries. Since Lincoln was personally opposed to slavery, he found the Republican Party platform much to his liking.

The first Republican to run for President was John C. Fremont, and that was in 1856. But Fremont's appeal was largely regional, and he was defeated by James Buchanan. By 1860, however, things would be different.

Before Lincoln ran for President in 1860, he campaigned in his home state of Illinois for the US Senate. Back then, senators were chosen by their state legislatures. Lincoln was the Republican nominee for Senate, but since the Republican Party was so new, he lost. Nevertheless, the series of debates Lincoln had with Democratic Party opponent Stephen Douglas aroused great interest in the country.

Lincoln followed by his Senate campaign with a series of pamphlets and speeches that captured the nation's attention. He became one of the leading voices against the expansion of slavery, and, in 1860, emerged as the Republican nominee for President.

While the appeal of the Republican Party was still regional (at the time, the Northeast), the entire nation was split regionally at this point. There were, in fact, four candidates for President that year, including Lincoln's former Senate campaign rival, Stephen Douglas. None of the candidates received a majority of the popular vote, but the population advantage in the Northeast gave Lincoln an Electoral College majority – making him the 16th President of the United States and the first President to be a Republican.


Source by Brian Tubbs

POPO: The Pissed On and Passed Over


Mr. POPO quite often gets on with the job and leaves politics to others in the mistaken belief that talent and ability will carry the day. He is Pissed on and Passed over (POPO). His integrity and work ethic get him nowhere. He quite often finds himself overlooked for rewards and promotions (or postings) and invariably sidelined by craftier colleagues. Partly because he's too straight and naive and partly because he just does not know how to play the game, Mr. POPO ends up as a spectacular underachiever. In the power game, all along dominated by the manipulators & strategists, Mr. POPO does not make a win, for he does not know the rules and the knack to absorb him (self) into the cunning ploys, gambit, and strategies to put him up from the POPO quagmire.

Office politics matters. One just can not succeed at work without getting political. Politicking happens whether you like it or not. It requires a person to learn the right buttons to push to influence others more effectively. Working life sucks, let's be honest here. Bad stuff can happen to good people. Bright, smart, hard-working souls who try to do a good job often end up getting walked over, trodden on and beaten down or sent packing to languish in obscurity or even the vigilance / crime / police nets. And arrogant, nasty, vindictive types often seem to have a fast-track ticket that allows them to rise straight to the top (ref; Murphy's Law).

In our career we're invariably confronted with a number of unpleasant office situations, politics, negativity, bullying bosses and annoying co-workers (a compassionate boss is very unlikely but is a real treasure). Bad people do get promoted because of their upward relationships. It's an unfortunate and sometimes unfair fact of life. It does not matter how great of a performer you are. If your boss (or even your peers / colleagues) perceives you as a threat, you could very well be eliminated. From the day one of your career to the day you retire, office politics affects you, your performance at work, and your relationship with your peers and even the future of the company. Innocent Bystander, the archetype, just wants to do the best job possible and leave himself out of the politics. He can never stay out of it, not really. The system always finds a way to suck him in. Even working from home as a freelance whatever, does not make you immune.

Because business is about competition, some of it is subtle and unspoken, but nearly everyone is competing for budgets, opportunities to work on more exciting (say plum) projects, customers, or resources. And then there's competition for promotions, time with important colleagues / superiors / biggies, prestige, recognition, bigger salaries, and, of course, power. But the very fact that people do plot and scheme at work illustrates one of the truths of politicking – that it delivers results. Despite some people trying to be noble and refusing to play the political game (they focus on their jobs and work hard in the hopes of being noticed and rewarded for their efforts) these sorts of people just end up being overlooked or ignored – either by colleagues or very important persons or both.

People (the purists) who focus on their work, dislike politics and try to work hard may be very good at their jobs and work honestly and diligently, if somewhat naively. They follow rules and regulations, trying to do what is "fair" or "right" and feel frustrated when decisions are not "fair" or "right". Nice does not mean nice, it often ends up meaning loser. The nice guys often end up meaning losers to end up as organizational martyrs, moaning about the unfairness of life but never doing anything about it. The players, the very opposite of purists, do respect official rules and regulations, but they understand that the 'unofficial rules' of politics are often more important. They realize that decisions are rarely "fair" or "right" and that decision makers have both personal as well as professional buttons that need to be pressed. They may not always be the very best at their day-to-day jobs, but their connections and influence help them to vault up the career ladder over their purist colleagues. They use their understanding of politics to influence people and achieve goals that are good for the organization as well as themselves. They know even in the most friendly and supportive of organizations, people do not always agree. Purists largely refuse to play the political game, believing it to require underhand tactics and a malicious intent.

Bosses, like any dominant animal, mark out their territory, assert their authority and display their power. As if it were a male peacock that flaunts its plumage to attract a mate, bosses flaunt themselves to denote gravitas and seriousness, in this case not to attract a partner but, to assert their top-dog position in the workplace. Groups were territorial in the past because it helped them survive. If you were not in a tight band, you did not get to pass on your genes. Such tribalism is not necessary in the same way now, yet we still have those characteristics because they have evolved over two million years. It's a surprise just how hard-wired this behavior is. It's predictable that a group will ostracize a whistle-blower, for instance. It's not good, but it's understandable in the tribal framework. It explains all sorts of undesirable behaviors, including bullying. Top guys do not spend as much of their time, as people thought, sitting reading quietly or attending to paperwork in front of a computer. Instead they are more often out and about maneuvering and positioning themselves at meetings, one-on-one encounters and coffee cliques.

Moral: We need to stop being simplistic and realize that changing behaviors and encouraging teamwork is much harder than we think. Getting different groups together and talking through some of the differences, and appreciating some of the unwritten rules which drive people, are crucial steps in improving trust. Let us not get taken advantage of & end up as organizational martyrs, moaning about the unfairness of life but never doing anything about it.


Source by Tajamul Hussain

How Do I Find a Good Political Campaign Manager?


Almost every great campaign has a great political campaign manager standing behind it. Apart from the candidate, the campaign manager is the most important person on the team, responsible not only for the day to day operations of the campaign, but also for a significant portion of the big-picture planning and strategy.

Small local campaigns often have a hard time finding a qualified and available campaign manager. Often, their solution is to have the candidate serve as his own campaign manager, guiding a team of volunteers, family, and friends. This is a huge mistake. Every campaign needs a manager that is not the candidate, even if the manager is only a volunteer or part-time staff member. Candidates need to shake hands, make speeches, and ask for donations … they can not do those jobs if they are also trying to run the day to day operations of the campaign.

Where, then, can a small, local campaign find a talented manager? Here are some places to start the search:

-Managers Of Past Election s – talk to former candidates for the office you are seeking, as well as candidates and politicians in your area to find out who is running the smaller campaigns in your community and whether or not they are available.

-Your Local Political Party – call your local party headquarters and ask who they would recommend. Often, political operatives with only a few campaigns under their belt maintain a relationship with local party offices seeking new opportunities.

-Recent College Graduates – check with your local college's political science department (both undergrad and graduate programs) to see if they know anyone who might be interested in getting their feet wet in a campaign management position. You'd be surprised how many poli sci majors in college also have significant volunteer campaign experience by the time they graduate.

-Friends Of the Candidate – while it is often more desirable to have a political campaign manager who has campaign experience, it is not always possible to find someone who has experience and is available. Under these circumstances, the campaign should seek out a friend of the candidate who is organized, confident, and willing to learn to serve as campaign manager, possibly with ongoing counsel from paid consultants.

Finding a great political campaign manager is a tough task for campaigns without great exposure or lots of cash, but it can be done. Ask around, talk to previous candidates and current politicians, and do not forget your local college campus. Above all, remember that letting the candidate serve as his or her own campaign manager is often a recipe for trouble.


Source by Joe Garecht

Benefits of Political Marketing


Marketing is not only limited to selling or promoting a product or service. Nowadays, the political world makes use of the power of marketing mainly to gain an advantage against their opponents. Political marketing, or politicking as it has been informally coined, is a common worldwide practice that influences the people to choose a candidate. It puts a person in a desirable position, like how marketers highlight a product or service's good points.

Political marketing is a way to make the public aware of a party or candidate's ideology or stance on certain issues. It helps make the public be at ease with a group, allowing them to earn their trust and satisfy their political needs. It is a medium for understanding what the public wants the parties to stand for or to act upon. It puts them in a favorable position, avoiding risks and issues that can destroy the image of the candidate.

Political marketing is neither cheap nor easy. It requires patience and research. With proper investigating, a marketer will be able to do the following:

1. Identify the current position on the politician. See which areas need to be improved and how to improve them. If the candidate is not looking good to the public in regards to a certain issue, a new strategy might be needed.

2. Identify an effective approach. Just like advertising a product, there are many effective ways to put information out in the market that will generate a desirable feedback. A live forum may be more effective over a TV appearance. A city visit may leave a better impression than a simple handing out of flyers. Social media may also help to get votes from the younger generations. It will all depend on what the marketer sees as most effective.

3. Identify what the public wants. Sometimes people do not really know what they want until it introduced to them. This can be the case when it comes to political marketing. The public may believe that position A is the best option, until a candidate shows them or makes them believe that position B is the best way to go.

With these, it is safe to say that proper political marketing can really influence people's decision making. This may sound like you're taking advantage of them, but it certainly will help the candidate reach their goal.

Political marketing can also make a candidate look good with the media. If the media people fall in love with the candidate, chances are, they always show their good side to the public. Just as in advertising, the public should only see the good side of the product. As soon as the public sees a flaw, they can use that to question the candidate's credibility, which will pose a great problem.

It is important to hire a smart political marketer, somebody who knows how to avoid loopholes. Also, be creative with whatever strategies you use. A smart marketer will be able to get you to your goal without having to do the same thing that the public may be bored with.


Source by Wendy W James