Saturday, August 31, 2019
Perspectives on the French revolution. This essay will examine the ideologies of the French revolution of 1789. Two perspectives on the French revolution were held by the conservativesÃ¢â¬â¢ elite and the educated philosophers. The educated philosophers believed that a revolution was the only way that the middle and lower class were to have a say in matters of state, and obtain their rights. Their goal in the revolution was to turn the absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy.The conservatives believed that the absolute monarchy should stay intact to preserve their heritage, and that the revolutionary changes brought more problems than they solved. The French revolution started in 1789 and officially lasted 10 years, finishing in 1799. Although according to public opinion, many events after the official end of the revolution are considered to be included in revolution for example the rein of Napoleon Bonaparte. The revolutions started as a result of rising food prices and t he states bankruptcy. The rising food prices were primarily caused by an immense and volatile hailstorm.The food shortage may have ended there, however the hailstorm was followed by a long drought, likely caused by the El Nino effect. After the drought there was an uncharacteristically cold winter rivers and roads froze over, stopping flour from being ground by watermills, and the little food that was produced couldnÃ¢â¬â¢t get to the market because the roads were blocked. When spring came around and the snow finally thawed it caused floods destroying an abundance of farmland. There is also speculation that volcanic activity of Laki and Grimsvoth had a hand in the food crisis.In addition to rising food prices, the states bankruptcy, caused in part by Frances involvement in the American revolutionary war, put the monarchy in a difficult financial position. To pay its debts the state would either have to borrow money or raise the already high taxes on the third estate (Adcock, pg. 4 0). Both decisions were unfavourable as they would cause upheaval in civilian life. The taxes were already high, having been raised to pay for the many wars King Louis XIV had waged, leaving the state in debt (Neely, pg. 29).In august 1786 king Louis XVIÃ¢â¬â¢s minister of finance informed him of the seriousness of the financial situation. France had been in debt for about 100 years. They waged 4 separate wars between 1733 and 1783, and borrowed more than ? 1250 million since 1776. These were the major contributions to Frances debt (Adcock pg. 41, Brooman pg. 19). The king had two options, either borrow more money or raise the taxes higher than theyÃ¢â¬â¢ve ever been. He soon discovered he couldnÃ¢â¬â¢t borrow more money because he was in too much debt, so he tried to introduce a new tax.This tax was called the land tax, all land owners had to pay this tax to keep the land they owned. This included the first, second and third estates land but excluded the king. All new taxes a nd laws had to be registered and approved at the law courts, or parliament in Paris. King Louis tried to pass the new tax without the estates generalsÃ¢â¬â¢ approval. When the law courts wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t allow him to introduce the new tax without their approval he exiled the entire parliament from Paris. People everywhere in France protested against this, sometimes violently, for six months until King Louis gave in and reappointed them.As a result of these main problems the people felt that the monarchy was not doing its job and that the French people needed a constitutional government to rule over them fairly. Although the philosophes did not always agree on political issues they did agree that the scientific discoveries made in the 17th century were important to all aspects of life (Neely pg. 16). Most philosophes were not traditional Christians, but rather deists. Deists believed that Ã¢â¬Å"knowledge of god came through study of the nature that he createdÃ¢â¬ and did not bel ieve in things such as miracles (Neely pg. 7). Before the revolution the philosophes achieved the publication of the encyclopedie, a collection of knowledge with contributions from many philosophes. The first volume was published in 1751(Neely pg. 18). These encyclopedie have been blamed by some historians for the revolution. They do at least play a small role in the revolution. Ã¢â¬Å"what helped to bring on the revolution were not radical ideas, but rather that more and more people were now discussing public policy and taking a lively interest in political and governmental mattersÃ¢â¬ (Neely pg. 1) these books were the reason people were able to be informed enough to create their own opinions. The governing of the country was no longer in the hands of just a few noble men, but majority of the population. One of the most famous philosophes was Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire. He wrote a variety of philosophical works on many topics and in many forms. In 1725 he wa s exiled to Britain for three years after offending a nobleman. In Britain he learnt about the constitutional monarchy, which appeared far better than his own countryÃ¢â¬â¢s monarchy.During this exile he wrote letter philosophiqes sur les anglais (philosophical letters on the English). He published these when he returned to France. These letters recommended the constitutional monarchy over the absolute monarchy, and sparked outrage in most people throughout the country. It is likely that these works had a hand in the revolution, once people had time to process the information. The edict of Nantes was signed in Nantes, France by Henri IV on April 15th 1598. Henri was a protestant who converted to Catholicism 4 years after succeeding the throne.The edict gave Protestants the freedom to worship as they please, made their marriages valid, allowed their priests to be paid by the state and gave full immunity for all crimes committed by both sides during the religious wars. The edict pro ved only to be a temporary solution to the religious wars and rivalry between the Protestants and Catholics. In 1685 Louis XIV revoked the edict of Nantes, declaring all protestant marriages invalid, and causing mass migration to England (Cavandish, history today).Voltaire, who had a protestant wife, wrote about the Protestants and what they were going through during this time of turmoil (Neely pg. 18). Voltaire especially had an interest in the callas case. He believed that the case showed what was wrong with the French society including religious intolerance. Jean Callas was convicted of killing his son for trying to convert to Catholicism. He was tortured and killed in public. In 3 years Voltaire cleared his name. Although the edict was revoked almost 100 years before the revolution, some historians believe it may have had a part in causing it. Enlightenment led people astray by weakening their faith in tradition and religion by placing entirely too much confidence in the abiliti es of human beings to reason and improve the worldÃ¢â¬ (Neely pg. 16). The conservatives believed that the revolution would cause more problems than it would solve. Although they admit that the monarchy had its flaws, they believed it was immoral to attack the government and the church (Neely, pg. 16). It was common belief that the king was appointed by god, which meant he had the divine right to rule.Therefore, Ã¢â¬Å"to criticise the king was to criticise godÃ¢â¬ . Public belief in the kingsÃ¢â¬â¢ competence to rule was largely reinforced by large oil paintings of the king at work (Adcock pg. 7). The second estate or nobility did not have to pay certain taxes (and dodged paying many others), got special treatment in law courts, had the right to carry a sword, and did not have to do military service (Brooman pg. 7). Because most of the conservatives were nobility of the second estate (upperclassmen) it is believed that there may have been a more selfish reason for their beli efs.The conservatives did not want to give up their estates, slaves, titles, and privileges (Neely pg. 16). On the 26th of august 1789 the declaration of rights of man and citizen was introduced provisionally by the parliament (Neely pg. 86). It outlined that all men were equal and free and that power did not solely belong to the king but to the people as well (Brooman pg. 33). Its main purpose was to acknowledge that these rights already exist, no to create new ones. It was merely an affirmation of the philosophes writings about the peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s rights.The document did not mention that the state had a responsibility to help the poor and unemployed. Although it was a victory for the philosophes and the third estate, they only got half of what they wanted (Adcock pg. 89). King Louis XVI or Ã¢â¬Å"Louis CapetÃ¢â¬ as the people insisted on calling him, was found guilty of conspiracy against the state on 7th of January 1793 (Adcock pg. 136). On the 15th of January they voted as to what punishment the king would receive. The votes were very close with 361 people who voted for death without conditions and 360 people who voted against it.Out of those 286 people voted for imprisonment or banishment and 46 people voted for death when peace time came (Neely pg. 170). On the 21st of January he was taken to place de revolution to be executed with a guillotine. Later the place de revolution was renamed to place de la Concorde to try and abate the memory and blame surrounding the place. King Louis XVI was thought of as a rallying point for the conservatives as he was part of the royalty they wished to protect. Once he was executed the conservatives had lost majority of their reason to fight.The revolution officially ended in 1799, when Napoleon Bonaparte came into power. When this happened, both the conservatives and the philosophes lost. Their separate ideals were torn apart as napoleon declared himself emperor, abolishing both the monarchy and the people voice (Adco ck pg. 193). During the revolution the French people had 4 separate national assemblies and 3 different constitutions. Many historians believe that without the help of the philosophes the French revolution may never have happened while others argue that dissatisfaction in the system causes criticism and animosity and the revolution still would ave happened eventualy. Bibliography Adcock, M 2004, Analysing the French revolution, Cambridge University Press. Brooman, J 1992, Revolution in France, Longman Group. Cavendish, R 1998, The edict of Nantes, viewed 12th September 2012 <http://www. historytoday. com/richard-cavendish/edict-nantes>3 Hampson, N 1963, A social history of the French revolution, T. J press. Neely, S 2008, A concise history of the French revolution, Rowman and Littlefield publishers.
Friday, August 30, 2019
There are some obvious similarities between music and math. A musician might not think about them consciously, but knows innately. Scales and intervals are essentially expressions of mathematical relationships. Grasping the importance of math to music means going beyond the conception that math is more than just numbers. Musicians at the highest level know that math is, in fact, fundamental to music. Musicians and mathematicians donÃ¢â¬â¢t often think of themselves in the same terms, but they are actually practitioners of the same art. Music can be studied, created and expressed through the principles of physics and geometry. Origins The language of music is heavily laden with numerical jargon. Every young player learns to assign numbers to scale notes and intervals. A musician asked to play a minor seventh interval can visualize this in mathematical form. They think of the scale, then determine itsÃ¢â¬â¢ relationship to what they were asked to play. For most musicians, this kind of math is an unconscious process. It becomes second nature. Math should not be thought of as a static set of lifeless numbers. In reality, math is a dynamic and creative process of discovering relationships and evaluating their meanings. Music shares the same elements of the problem solving process. The ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras was fascinated with music and its expression of mathematical relationships. The beauty of music, for him, was the same as that a mathematician experiences in the process of discovery (Loy, 2006). He saw the differences in notes in terms of ratios. For example, if C is the tonic D would be 9/8 of C. The ratio is describing the difference in the number of vibrations. Each note has its own ratio, relative to tonic. The ratio is multiplied for notes in higher octaves, and divided for notes in lower octaves. Generally speaking, the frequency of a note within a scale can be calculated by multiplying the frequency of the tonic note times the frequency ratio for the selected interval (Reid, 2007). The concept of the octave was described by ancient mathematicians. They discovered that some notes, although different, could be almost imperceptible to the human ear. Correspondingly, they found that there is a mathematical relationship between the same notes in different octaves. The relationships Pythagoras and others illustrated between math and music are fundamental to the development of both fields. In an age when music can be created with computers, the mathematical elements of music have become even more important. Foundations Math and music both use symbols and employ conceptual frameworks. As in math, some elements of music are undefined or vague. Yet, the influence of math is apparent in ways musicians may not even consciously realize. Harvey Reid cites one such example: The frets of a guitar are actually placed according to the 12th root of 2, and 12 frets go halfway up the neck, to the octave, which is halfway between the ends of the strings. (2007) A note is the most basic element of music. What is a note? In technical terms, a note is a specific frequency of vibrations. A good example of this can be seen on an electronic tuning meter. The meter does not Ã¢â¬Å"hearÃ¢â¬ notes, per se. It counts the number of vibrations the player is creating and matches it to the appropriate frequency for the note being tuned. The actions the player takes to come into compliance with the tuner are essentially part of a mathematical problem-solving process. This illustrates the Ã¢â¬Å"physicsÃ¢â¬ of music. The time signature itself is a mathematical formula related to number theory. The formula is n/2m, where n and m are positive whole numbers (Benson, 2006). More complex time signatures lead to more complicated mathematical relationships. This complexity can be heard, and felt, by the listener. Scales are expressions of mathematical ratios. Broadly classified, scales may be practice-based, just intoned or tempered (Reid, 2007). All are based on mathematical theories. The intervals present in the scales are expressions of mathematical ratios. The process of writing music is mathematical at its heart. It consists of constructing many mathematical relationships that, in some way, still relate to each other. We know what intervals to avoid or, in other words, what frequencies clash in an unpleasing way. Some music takes on geometric properties. A piece in which a theme is repeated and overlapped continually can be described geometrically. The theme is often stretched, overlapped, changed slightly and moved to different keys. All of these are mathematical actions that could be visualized graphically. Technology, the future and Conclusion In the computer age, musicians have a vast array of tools to create new and interesting music. Computers themselves are mathematical machines. Each command is a mathematical problem for the computer to solve. In machines that have vast mathematical capabilities, musicians can explore notational relationships in ways they never thought possible before. There are limitations to the human ear, but technology can use mathematic principles to explore those limitations. The longer a person studies music, the more they become aware of its mathematical roots. Similarly, the longer a person studies mathematics, the more aware they become music is an expression of mathematical concepts. As technology advances, the potential exists for the each field to increase the knowledge of the other. Most musicians innately sense the connection with math. The connections go far beyond the obvious, however. It is a linkage that can be traced all the way back to common origins. Sources Benson, David L. (2006). Music: a Mathematical Offering. New York: Cambridge University Press. Loy, Gareth. (2006). Musimathics: The Mathematical Foundations of Music Vol. 1. Boston: The MIT Press. Reid, Harvey. (2007). Ã¢â¬Å"Of Mathematics and MusicÃ¢â¬ . Accessed 3/22/2007 from: http://www.woodpecker.com/writing/essays/math+music.html
Competition: Good or Bad? Competition is something that everyone has experienced in his or her life; it is human nature. In school, students compete with classmates to finish first or to make better grades. In a workplace, colleagues compete to receive promotions and raises. In the business world, companies compete to create the top products. Competition is a part of everyday life, and it is healthy. It helps people to improve, it leads to better products and results, and it promotes growth. Competition helps people to improve.For someone to win, someone else has to lose. If a person views loss with a positive attitude, they can use that as a way to learn from their mistakes and try harder. By taking the competition out of it, it will take away a reason for a person to improve. Communism is a real example of what happens when society erases competition. Communist countries treat their people equally, and there are no social classes. The State owns everything; the people own nothing e xcept for the clothes on their back. This results in people being less goal oriented.Why work hard for something when in the end, they will earn nothing? Competition leads to better products and results. Competition between companies often leads to more options, lower prices, and better quality of products. It is good in the marketplace not only for businesses, but consumers as well. It benefits businesses by driving companies to be more creative and to make improvements. It benefits customers by keeping the prices low and the quality of the products high. Apple and Android are examples of two competing companies.Both sell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. They are constantly trying to better their products in creative and new ways in order to sell them. As a result, consumers have more options to choose from. Competition promotes growth. Without competition and rivals, I would not have taken the chances or learned the lessons that I have. One of my favorite quotes come s from Vince Lombardi, a former football player and coach for the Green Bay Packers. He said, Ã¢â¬Å"Winning isnÃ¢â¬â¢t everything, but wanting to is. Ã¢â¬ This quote drove me to better myself in school.Before, I was careless about my grades and I waited until the last minute to do everything, but after applying that quote to my life, I am more conscientious about my grades and college. The satisfaction of getting a higher grade on a test than someone else definitely motivates me to keep working as hard as I possibly can. Many people believe that competition is bad because it leads to a focus on winning at all costs. They also believe that competition lowers self-esteem because someone has to lose. In some cases, this may be true.However, competition must be kept in perspective. It cannot get carried away with the idea of needing to win. Competition is healthy and can produce excellence, even when a person loses, but it must be kept under control. Competition helps people to be tter themselves, leads to better products and results, and promotes growth. Competition is a force that drives people to succeed. Without it, it would be harder to motivate people. When kept in perspective, competition is an amazing way to achieve goals, and it can bring out the strongest in a person.
Thursday, August 29, 2019
How health care cost and the aging baby boomer population will affect the economy - Research Paper Example This paper centers the discussion about the supply and demand of the health care cost associated to the aging baby boomers, and its effects onto the national economy. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn to justify the researcherÃ¢â¬â¢s analysis within the general scope of the study. Approximately after ten years, the general population of the baby boomers will range between 51 to 70 years old (Court, Farrell, & Forsyth, 2007). Baby boomers should be enticed to work after their retirement stage. Because of the growing demand for baby boomers to continue their participation in the workforce, some fractions of the national policy should be amended. Further, 69% of the baby boomers are not yet ready to adopt new lifestyles (Beinhocker, Farrell, & Greenberg, 2009). Baby boomers will report 40% of the United StatesÃ¢â¬â¢ expenditure by 2015, especially onto the disproportional division of growth and expenditure in industries from healthcare (Macunovich, 2012, p. 3). It was unearthed that the oldest baby boomers are fiscally unready to leave the workforce and are not conscious about their quandary (Beinhocker, Farrell, & Greenberg, 2009). It was found that more than half of the total population of the baby boomers was determined to work after their formal retirement (Court, Farrell, & Forsyth, 2007). As a matter of fact, baby boomersÃ¢â¬â¢ workforce is increasing nowadays. After their retirement stage, baby boomers will still tend to work despite their age (Macunovich, 2012, p. 3). The growing demand for this cluster is relatively high due to economic turmoil that is happening nowadays. Baby boomers tend to continue working because they need to cover up their consumption by gaining no more than 80% of their standard income. As to that, there would be 40% of them active in the workforce at age 65. By 2015, 33% of the baby boomer workforce will reach over the age 50 (Court, Farrell, & Forsyth, 2007). Approximately, 83% of them are receiving social security benefits
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Importance of Monitoring and Evaluation in Complex Projects - Essay Example Evaluation is there to bring these into light. As bared by Bako (n.d.) however, evaluation and evaluators are still seen as elements of managerial work that inflame one's nerves rather than challenge one for change. Managers are often confronted with questions and challenges both from inside and outside the organization about projects. Questions asked include proper use of resources, results in line with efforts, services meeting beneficiaries' expectations or not, and proper spending of money. To answer these questions, evaluations are undertaken by organizations but relevant information must be gathered systematically first, which is the process of monitoring. Large-scale infrastructure projects would even more need monitoring and evaluation efforts. Examples of complex projects involve the development of power plants, telecommunications systems, water treatment facilities, ports, urban transportation systems and toll ways. Most of these are owned by private sector developers or are partnerships with public sector institutions. They are typically capital intensive, involving tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars of investment (CRGP, n.d.). Complex projects, according Coffman (n.d.) compose of a subset of projects large enough financially to pose a significant risk to the organization if they are not conceived of and executed well. There is multiplicity of the parties involved in the planning, financing and execution of the projects. There is also at times complexity in the multiple nationalities of the parties(CRGP, n.d.). According to the World Bank, a separate administrative unit for monitoring is expedient where project objectives are complex, or with projects with multiple components. (WB 1989). The purpose is to serve the information needs of the implementing agency and so accordingly such unit should be integrated into the management structure (Ibid.). Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems should be of quality. At the outset, projects are required to design and implement plans for M&E as far as the Global Environment Facility (GEF, 2004) Council is concerned. To them, an issue with complex projects is their over-ambitious objectives in relation to available resources and the periods for implementation. Another is the unrealistic assumptions about either project problems or solutions (Ibid.). Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) Monitoring is mainly an internal process carried out by those implementing the project. Preferably, monitoring should involve all stakeholders as the results need to be shared with them and fed back into implementation (www.bond.org, n.d.). Monitoring is the continuous assessment of project implementation with the main objective of providing continuous feedback (WB 1989). On the other hand, evaluation is the periodic assessment of the relevance, performance, efficiency, and impact of the project, both expected ad unexpected, in relation to stated objectives. It is intended to identify project design problems, and is essentially an internal activity undertaken for project management. (Ibidl). An evaluation is an assessment of an ongoing or completed project rendered as objective as possible. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, development, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. Information in an evaluation should be credible and useful to enable learning from the lessons incorporated for the
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
The impact of globalization and multinational companies on labour markets - Essay Example Due to the rapid improvements on communications technology, economic freedom and the continuous promotion of trade liberalization2 (World Trade Organization 2008), modern business trend has gradually shifted from multinationalism to globalization. It is also crucial for businesses today to actively participate in the trading of goods and services in the world market. In reality, globalization is not only focused on the continuous global movements of goods and services from one country to another but also the global traffic of human resources3 (Steger 2003, p. 37). With regards to the large supply of available work force in the labour market, a lot of medium- and large-scale businesses have been taking advantage of the opportunity to hire competitive employees at a minimum wage. To enable the readers to fully understand the impact of globalization and multinational companies on labour market, the definition and main purpose of globalization will first be provided. In response to globalization, the impact and some of the common HR strategies used by multinational companies in response to globalization will be identified and thoroughly discussed. Eventually, ways on how globalization and the HR strategies used by most multinational companies trigger either positive or negative impact over the labour market will be identified. To enable us to maximize the positive impact of globalization on labour market, recommended solutions on how we can effectively counteract the negative impact of globalization and ways in which most multinational companies are currently treating employees will be provided. Globalization is Ã¢â¬Å"a process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments of different countries which is driven by international trade and investment through the use of information technologyÃ¢â¬ 4 (The Levin Institute 2008). Basically, globalization allows business people to maximize their available financial
Monday, August 26, 2019
Accounting Calculations - Assignment Example Wireless and Remote connectivity Challenge Ã¢â¬â Sanford University QUESTION 1: 1. Compute the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s predetermined overhead rate (a) -Pre -Determined overhead rate Fixed Manufacturing Overhead 106,250.00 Basis of Allocation -Machine Hrs 85,000.00 1.25 Variable Manufacturing Overhead 0.75 Predetermined Overhead Rate 2.00 Question 2: Calculation of Overhead Costs Manufacturing Overhead Utilities 14,000.00 Budgeted Overhead 160,000.00 Insurance 9,000.00 Maintainance 33,000.00 Indirect Materials 7,000.00 Indirect Labour 65,000.00 Depreciation 40,000.00 Under Ã¢â¬âApplied overheads 8000 168,000.00 168,000.00 Work -In -Progress Direct Material 530,000.00 Cost of goods sold 783,000.00 Direct Labour 85,000.00 Overheads 160,000.00 Under -Allocated Overheads 8,000.00 783,000.00 783,000.00 3. Computation of the Underapplied or Overapplied Overhead for the Year Under- applied (Over -Applied) indirect costs = Actual indirect costs in curred - Indirect costs allocated Actual Manufacturing Overhead 168,000.00 Budgeted Manufacturing Overhead 160,000.00 Under (Over) Applied Overheads 8,000.00
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Shearwater adventures - Essay Example Rival Sellers: Although Shearwater Adventure has differentiated itself from its rivals by offering a wide product range, the company still faces threats because the competition can either increase its product line or devise new adventures or copy those offered by Shearwater. and thus increase its sales and market share. The rivalry intensifies as new competition enters the market with low priced products and offering good deals compared to the existing ones. In addition to this, the competitors in the adventure industry are now trying to build strong dealer networks with the African local companies in order to increase their credibility, which is also a means of promotion and advertising. The practice of increase repeat bookings from the customers is spreading like fire among the competitors who try different tactics and methods to achieve this. New Entrants: Opening an adventure company in countries like South Africa, where Shearwater Adventure is currently operating, is very easy as compared to the setting up in United States due to high permit costs. In addition to this, the new entrants who focus on rafting trips have to endure a cost as low as $20,000 and if the company wants to offer all the services than the cost could be as high as $200,000. New companies would be encouraged to enter the market by seeing a double digit growth of few companies. Substitute Products: The companies in the industry are providing more or less the same the adventure products. Shearwater Adventure has tried to differentiate itself by providing more choices in the sports than any other company. Although at-least 40 extreme sports exist in the industry, it is difficult to provide them all depending on the location of the company. A company providing water sport activities will try to attract customers by positioning itself as better than land activities. In order to predict the future demand, the companies should link up
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Human Resource Management and Building Employee Loyalty - Case Study Example Human resource management of Xeleco is a matter of recognizing people as perhaps the most important asset of Xeleco and to manage these people the best way possible. Xeleco's competitiveness in its market refers to their capability to uphold and expand market share. Competitiveness is related to Xeleco's effectiveness, which is determined by how much Xeleco satisfies the requirements of its stakeholders. The significant stakeholders comprise stockholders, customers as well as employees. Therefore, retention of employees becomes an important factor of Xeleco competitiveness. Xeleco's core employees are those that are essential to the service(s) Xeleco provides. These employees work year round, typically full time, and drive the business. Retention of core employees is vital to the business. To retain employees it is no longer enough to be competitive concerning pay. Employees of today relate their jobs to their private lives far more than they did in the earlier days. In earlier days employees would go to work, do their job, get their pay, and go home to a life often totally separated from work. Today the types of work have changed, and people's conceptions of work have changed in a way that makes retention of employees something much more complex than adding more pay. A dangerous myth existing from earlier days is that people only work for money. And yes, people do work for money, but they work even more for meaning in their lives, for fun, for jobs that will contribute something to their lives, and their family's life. Pay cannot substitute for a working environment high on trust, fun, and meaningful work. Companies that pay no attention to this fact are fundamentally bribing their employees and will pay the cost in lack of loyalty as well as obligation, and difficulty in retaining important employees. Today, employee benefits are a major force in determining employee retention, or employee happiness. One could argue that content employees make content customers, and that content customers make content stockholders. In this view, employee benefits become crucial to Xeleco's success. Incorporating retention strategies into the HR and succession plan plays a major role in the changing and increasingly mobile workforce. This has been linked with the move towards the Protean career where a person's career is frequently changing. Hence organisations must be ready to adapt to this change by benefiting them with career development programs thereby enhancing reputation and achieving greater retention of valued employees. In order to retain employees the organization must When considering succession planning, employee development is an integral strategic process which enables knowledge, skills and behaviour to be acquired to meet job changes and client requirements in the future as opposed to training which is immediate current job
Friday, August 23, 2019
Press Release Analysis - Essay Example senators send out press releases highlighting the federal projects that they helped to bring to their states to portray caring and empathetic nature, while women senators make press releases that elucidate their experience and decisiveness, while focusing their narrative on the key positions they hold in Senate, and to declare their clear positions on public policy issues (Thomas and Wilcox 142). The press releases made by the male Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and those made by female senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin show the discrepancy in emphasis arising from gender orientation of the senators as espoused in Chapter 8 of the book In February 12, 2015, Patrick Leahy released a press statement highlighting the progress which the CIDER Act bill, which he and his colleague from New York, Senator Charles Schumer, presented in Senate in 2003, was making. The gist of the bill is to promote value addition to hard cider in order to allow farmers make the most out of it. Enactment of this bill is likely to make Patrick seem as a caring person, especially among the households that depend on the cider industry. On the same day, Tammy Baldwin and two other colleagues made a press release dwelling on their progress in the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, where they were making a bill to restore the great lakes. Though the release talks of a bill just as in Senator LeahyÃ¢â¬â¢s case, the communication shows the overarching stance of the senator regarding the policy on ecological and economic protection of the great lakes and the American people at large. Evidently, the Act that Senator Baldwin and her colleagues talk of wi ll benefit 30 million Americans whose drinking water comes from the Great Lakes. A day earlier, Senator BaldwinÃ¢â¬â¢s press release depicted her expressing her position that the VA leadership and the department of veteran Health Administration had failed to follow the existing policies that guarantee the safety of the patients. It happens that on the same
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Film responses 13 - Movie Review Example The jump cut shows Antoine in the bathroom. He wipes the mirror and there is a voice-over of the teacher saying: Ã¢â¬Å"I deface the classroom walls.Ã¢â¬ The voice-over is a distancing technique. It helps people to think about the kind of boy that Antoine is and the kind of life that he has than feel for him as a delinquent. When his father appears in the mirror to show his socks with many holes, it shows the theme of mixing genres, of including comedy in a dramatic moment. This is part of the auteur theory where Truffaut includes small things that matter to a leisure narrative development, especially the wit and charm of the characters. Try to make a point of not choosing opening scenes or scenes that are featured on You Tube.When you find a scene that clearly shows French New Wave technical & thematic elements--note those elements as youÃ describe each scene in vivid detail--using film terms whenever appropriate.Ã Remember--its always easiest to work your way chronologically through the scene--describing what you see as the narrative unfolds.Ã Important--Make sure you also extend your description into a discussion of the purpose and/or effect of various technical or elements of mise-en-scene choices. The assignment this week will help prepare you for next weeks
Outsourcing in America Essay 1. Introduction In business, in order to provide services or sell products at competitive rate, corporations are to cut unnecessary costs or to focus on core competences in order to reduce the number of human resources and associated costs. Concerning the need to reduce costs coupled with the fierce competition in business, currently, enterprises are striving for finding the best solutions to increase revenue while keeping costs as low as possible. While the matured technology can help enterprises to reach economy of scale, outsourcing of employees (human resources) can be the savior for companies to keep their fixed costs that incurred from employment and research to reach minimum level. Fortunately, in the Internet era where any documentations process can be sent out over the internet and job can be conducted via e-mail or instant messaging, outsourcing-typed employment model have proved to promote significant savings. Concerning the issue, this paper discusses benefits and impacts of outsourcing in the U.S. 2. Outsourcing Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that Ã¢â¬Å"OutsourcingÃ¢â¬ of services refers to an organizationÃ¢â¬â¢s purchase from other countries of services that it previously produced or purchased domestically, such as software programming or telephone call center (US Embassy, 2004). Just like other business schemes, outsourcing also gives us advantages and disadvantages as following: 2.1. Advantages of Outsourcing to U.S. Economy In the U.S., the cost of labor has increased significantly. The situation has driven American enterprises, especially ones in information technology segments, to outsource the software development to a developing country like India. The reasons are obvious that the labor cost in India is much cheaper. It makes sense since in todayÃ¢â¬â¢s economy, companies need to maintain a cost structure that is globally competitive; given that requirement, we can easily guess how businesses will react. Ultimately, free market competition is the ruler of the day, and, while governments may introduce barriers that influence individual situations, there will be no stopping the offshore outsourcing trend. Moreover, McKinsey Co predicts that the Internet-enabled services (ITES) market is likely to touch $142 billion in 2009. There would be a net saving accounting for $390 billion from current cost of $532 billion for these services (Kurian, 2003). U.S. can fulfill the net saving through off shoring to other country like India. 3. Impacts of Outsourcing While such incredible saving might be the concerns of American enterprises, Nasscom quoted Michel Janssen, founder and President, Everest Group, that there is possibility that outsourcing have closed relation to the loss of jobs in the US. Some private researchers predict that outsourcing may eliminate 100,000 to 500,000 IT (information technology) jobs within the next few years, while others note that outsourcing can also generate benefits, such as lower prices, productivity improvements, and overall economic growth. Concerning the situation, Jackson (2005) sees that the outsourcing may lead to increasing import to the U.S. This makes sense while foreign investment is displacing jobs and domestic production, there are possibilities that foreign affiliates increase imports to U.S. parent company. In addition, media and the public reveal that outsourcing leads to worse services or products. With the increasing trend to use outsourcing in some of the core functions of a company (like customer service and hospital staffs), reports about inferior quality caused by outsourcing agreement are growing in number (Dookril, 2004).
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Corporate Social Responsibilty In Mauritius Management Essay The European Commission defined Corporate Social Responsibility as a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. In other words, it concerns actions by companies over and above their legal obligations towards society and the environment. According to the European Commission certain regulatory measures can create a more conducive environment for organisations to voluntarily meet their social responsibility. Similarly, the National Empowerment Foundation (NEF) defines Corporate Social Responsibility as the concept whereby companies act to balance their own economic growth with the sustainable social and environmental development of the country. An organisation that is highly involved in CSR is one that goes beyond the legal compliance and actively practices positive impacts on the local communities and the environment. In fact, there is not a standard definition of Corporate Social Responsibility as it is varies according to various countries and cultures. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an important issue over the last two decades. Lawyers, practitioners, economists, and civil society have contributed to defining, developing, and analysing the content, nature and implementation of CSR (P. R.Waagstein, 2011). CSR has been practiced by companies all over the world for many years as shown by many researchers. At the beginning, it was more for staff well-being. For instance, during the industrial revolution and age, factories provided different facilities for the community surrounding them in order to make use of their labour. Over the past few years, both businesses and academic researchers have shown increasing interest and enthusiasm for Corporate Social Responsibility. For instance, research done has suggested that CSR may be an efficient tool to improve the legitimacy of companies amongst their stakeholders as per Handelman and Arnold (1999), and to develop positive social responsibility images, according to Sen and Bhattacharya (2001). PROBLEM STATEMENT The term CSR has, over years, been coined to allow the economic development of a country to participate in the socio-economic development. By being responsible for society, the same industries were allowed to give back, in a responsible way, to people working for them and purchasing their goods and services. Amongst the different levels of society, the emergence of need for different categories arose, for example, handicapped people, abandoned children, out laws, the elderly and street people. Thus, Corporate Social Responsibility became a term used for catering to all categories of humans and their wellness in the society. At the onset, Corporate Social Responsibility was a voluntary initiative for companies to act socially responsible. However, over the years, especially in the new millennium, since complete improvement was not totally visible around the world, the United Nations proposed some Millennium Development Goals to improve the general conditions of living. One of their main goals was to eradicate absolute poverty in developing countries and underdeveloped countries. Indeed, the United Nations Millennium Campaign, started in 2002, supports and inspires people from all four corners of the world to get involved and take actions in supporting the Millennium Development Goals. As stated, the main challenges and major concerns of the International community is to eradicate absolute poverty, but this can only be done by the combined efforts of all governments, civil society organisations and the private sector. As mentioned by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon the goals are ambitious but feasible and, together with the comprehensive United Nations development agenda, set the course for the worlds efforts to alleviate extreme poverty by 2015. The Government of Mauritius has established a policy with the objective of mandating registered companies to pay 2% of their book profit towards programmes that contribute to the social and environmental development of the country. In Mauritius, CSR has been formulated in the year 2008, when then the Minister of Finance decided that companies should reinvest 2% of their book profit towards societal development. To date, CSR has been practiced by companies for years and one of the main issues that arose recently is how to regulate it. Should it be a legal norm, ethical norm or social norm? This question can be further elaborated: Should CSR be regulated through state regulation, code of conduct or self-regulation? Should it be regulated in a voluntary way or should it be an obligation to corporations? Another question that arises is whether it is the role of the private sector to take care or to look after the society, or whether it is the role of the government to do so, since all companies are paying tax and the main objective of a company is to maximise profits. In addition, on a different perspective, another question emerges: should an organisation only focus on maximising profits or should its role as a so cially responsible organisation also include looking after its society and the community? Matten and Moon (2008) offers a broad interpretation, arguing that it should be perceived both as a social imperative and social consequence of business success. Accordingly, two forms of CSR, implicit and explicit, have been introduced. Implicit CSR is embedded in various relationships among business, society and government within the political system. It is represented by strong values, norms and rules or regulations which require corporations to address stakeholder issues. It is important to note that politics and organisations are interrelated and interdependent as they need each other to accomplish their social responsibility in an effective and efficient way. A textbook example in Mauritius would be the Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile (CMT) that has donated Rs 25m to the government for the new project of building a high tech school for vulnerable and deprived children. 1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The aim of this research is to determine the importance of voluntary or mandatory CSR for the overall socio-economic development of the country. In this context, the specific objectives are to: To assess the local opinion of CSR drivers and whether it is better as a mandatory or voluntary practice. This will provide a course of action for the new Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment. To provide for modifications in the local way of practicing CSR and to be able to answer queries of International organisations on eradication of poverty. To make recommendations so as to meet the targets set by United Nations and the Millennium Development Goals project, and to showcase Mauritius as a success example in Africa. 1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH In fact, Corporate Social Responsibility is mandatory in Mauritius and this research primarily focuses on determining the opinions, points of view and the experiences of companies that are actively engaged in CSR. Further assessment will be made as to whether they prefer a voluntary or mandatory implementation and determining whether the local way of practicing CSR has benefitted society and provided improvements in the current way local companies are practicing CSR. In addition, it analyses the need for mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility in Mauritius and determines whether the government should keep it mandatory or voluntary or both. It further develops the idea of whether voluntary CSR should be modified to some other form to cater to the needs of the Mauritian society. It also gives a comprehensive overview of findings and conclusions that will allow the local CSR Committee and Government to review and improve its CSR policies for the country. 1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS Based on the above research objectives of the study, the following research questions have been formulated: How organisations define Corporate Social Responsibility? Awareness of local CSR guidelines and what their opinions are and suggestions on the CSR guidelines? What problems they encounter while implementing CSR practices? How can the CSR Committee help in implementing CSR activities? How businesses perceive Corporate Social Responsibility as a mandatory practice in Mauritius. Should it be voluntary or mandatory? 1.6 STRUCTURE OF THE DISSERTATION Chapter 1 Introduction This chapter provides an overview of the topic research on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and sets out the problem statement of the study, outlining the objectives of the research and highlighting the research questions. Chapter 2 Literature Review This chapter reviews the literature relevant to the topic. It provides past reviews carried out by different researchers on Corporate Social Responsibility in various countries around the world. It also provides a description of CSR implementation in Mauritius and the similarities and contrasts that exist among the different countries. Chapter 3 Methodology The methodology chapter outlines the methods and techniques used to conduct the study, namely the research approach, design and strategy used. Information about the target population including the sample size and sampling method is given along with details about the interview questionnaire. Chapter 4 Analysis and Findings This chapter presents the data analysis and research findings. The source of data has been derived mainly from interviews that have been carried out. Further, discussions are based on the findings of this study. Chapter 5 Recommendations and Conclusions In this final chapter, appropriate recommendations will be made and the chapter will end with a concluding paragraph including the possibility for further or future research. CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents an overview of the literature relevant to Corporate Social Responsibility. It provides a review of the past studies carried out by different researchers. The idea of social responsibility emerged in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Carroll (1989) states three critical turning points in the evolution of social responsibility: The Entrepreneurial Era Businessmen in America were building industrial empires and were abusing their power, being found guilty of antisocial and anticompetitive practices. Such practices included tax evasion and other unethical business practices. This caused frustration among the public who voiced their objections, causing the government to enforce laws whereby business had a role to play in society beyond profit maximisation. The Depression era of 1929- 1930s The economy of United States was dominated by large organisations and the government passed laws to protect investors and smaller businesses. In addition, the social responsibility of organisations was more clearly defined. (iii)The Social Era of 1960s This era was characterised by social turmoil in the United States. The Government looked closely at organisational practices and it was clearly defined to whom the organisation was responsible and who in an organisation was responsible for the organisational practices. Bowen (1953) the pioneering advocate of CSR, described Corporate Social Responsibility in terms of the obligations of businessmen to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of action which are desirable in terms of objectives and values of our society. (Social Responsibilities of Businessmen, 1953). The emphasis was laid on peoples conscience rather on the company itself. This alteration in focus was provoked by a number of factors such as the managerial revolution and the mounting hostility of people experiencing social problems. The obligations were further elaborated upon, going beyond economic and legal implications by including the employee, the community welfare and the political and educational needs of society (McGuire, 1963). This gave rise to the modern concept of corporate citizenship (Maignan, Ferrell, and Hult, 1999). The Committee for Economic Development (1971) viewed CSR as the service of a wide range of human values to improve the quality of life. The managerial role in changing societal expectations has also been articulated by the Committee. On one hand, Manne Wallich (1972) mentioned that businesses should not spoil society but should provide solutions through voluntary assumption of obligations. On the other hand, Caroll (1979) summarised the discussion by providing the following definition: social responsibility of business encompasses the economic, legal, ethical and discretionary expectations that society has of organisations at a given point in time. Figure 1 Carrolls classic pyramid (Carroll, 1991) Carrolls CSR Pyramid covers the whole perspective of what society can expect from a company, economically as well as socially. This theory can be used to identify a companys CSR activities and how they use CSR as a strategy. It will further explain and recognise the connection between a companys CSR activities and its stakeholders. Carrolls CSR Pyramid can be used as a tool to clarify the different kinds of responsibilities that a company has to fulfil in order to achieve legitimacy from its surrounding society and stakeholders. 2.1 Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility Various organisations have viewed CSR in different ways, although there are considerable common opinions between them. According to Mallen Baker (2004), CSR is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society. Lord Holmes and Richard Watts (2000), in their publications Making Good Business Sense, defined CSR as: Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. This publication also provides some evidence of the different perceptions of what this should mean to a number of different societies across the world. It respects cultural differences and finds the business opportunities in building the skills of employees, the community and the government through CSR. Corporate Social Responsibility Developing Countries and Overseas Experiences In the year 2000 , the Millennium Development Goals set the challenge of Corporate Social responsibility in developing countries in view of eradicating poverty, hunger, providing better education to children, equal opportunities for women and a healthier environment (UN, 2006: 3). Unfortunately, in many developing countries these global aspirations have remained unaccomplished. (Visser et al., 2007) viewed CSR in developing countries as the formal and informal ways in which business makes a contribution to improving the governance, social, ethical, labour and environmental conditions of the developing countries in which they operate, while remaining sensitive to prevailing religious, historical and cultural contexts. According to a survey done by Welford (2005) in Asia, research showed that countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand where indicative of having less prevalent CSR activities. Malaysia is considered as the weakest in terms of CSR performance, with Thailand being relatively strong on external aspects (such as child labour and ethics) and Hong Kong being generally better on internal aspects (such as non-discrimination and equal opportunities). It was determined through a review done on CSR literature (Visser et al, 2006) that only 12 out of 53 countries in Africa have publications in CSR journals and that 57% of published articles focus on South Africa with 16% focusing on Nigeria. On one hand, CSR in the United States has been defined mainly in terms of a philanthropic model. Most companies focus on making and maximising profits and only contribute to charitable activities in an effort to benefit from tax concessions, contributing a certain share of the profits to charitable institutions. They believe that receiving any benefits from charitable sharing would tarnish the reputation of the company. On the other hand, the Canadian Governments perception of CSR is generally understood to be the way a company achieves a balance or integration of economic, environmental and social imperatives while at the same time addressing shareholder and stakeholder expectations. According to Cecil (2008), disclosure of CSR in the United States does not currently exist and is therefore unregulated as a required framework. In fact, various models and categories of reporting do exist under the umbrella of CSR, such as environmental reports, social reports and sustainability reports. Therefore the CSR report is separate from the annual report and represents non-financial qualitative and quantitative data. In contrast to other developed countries, Corporate Social Responsibility in the United States is not forcefully imposed. Companies in the United States participate in CSR based on their own moral and social values, allowing them to apply the triple-bottom-line approach voluntarily. In comparison, the laws of Mauritius state that it is mandatory for profit bearing organisations to pay the government 2% of their annual book profit as a CSR contribution. While companies in the United States have no mandatory obligation towards CSR, they widely exploit the CSR programme as a means of increasing their public image and corporate reputation. Given the fact that CSR in the United States is non-mandatory, companies can define and interpret their views of social responsibility within the context of own their company. Having this freedom has allowed them to better measure and promote CSR activities in comparison to their International counterparts. It is interesting to note that although companies in the United States are very explicit in their public statements with relation to their commitment to corporate responsibility, the lack of precise definition has led to confusion in terminology. A wide range of terms for CSR now exists, such as social responsibility, community investment and corporate citizenship. Each company tends to define them differently, yet having little understanding of what they actually mean, whether that is philanthropic giving, raw material sourcing or employment practices. Mauritius in comparison, although less developed than the United States, has a well-defined CSR programme as the mandatory enforcement of social responsibility has led to a single, precise and distinct perception thereof. The Government of the United Kingdom interprets CSR as the contribution a business makes to their sustainable development goals in terms of how they account for economic, social and environmental impacts. According to I. Pearson, Minister of the state UK, the world is experiencing major economic challenges and the issue of Corporate Responsibility must remain high on business and political agendas. He states that most successful companies have always been the most responsible. Business leaders recognise that Corporate Responsibility makes good business sense and it attracts the best talent, earns the trust of customers and the community and acts as a powerful investment for long-term sustainability. However, just like the United States, and in contrast to Mauritius, CSR is voluntary in the United Kingdom. The Government of the United Kingdom has adopted the voluntary approach as they believe it will motivate and encourage Corporate Social Responsibility through best practice guidance, and where appropriate, regulation and fiscal incentives. In the United Kingdom, CSR is viewed as a voluntary activity that should address both competitive and social interests. Mauritius does not share this approach and even encourages companies to contribute above the legal requirement to benefit the community and environment, invest in education and to help eradicate poverty. The question of whether or not CSR should be considered mandatory emerges when we consider that countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have no such legal compliance obligations. Why would a country like Mauritius, being a small island in the Indian Ocean, apply CSR as compulsory, especially considering that Mauritius is only the second country in the world where CSR is mandatory? NRE (Nouvelles Regulations Economique) law introduced in France in 2001 requires that all publicly listed French companies disclose information to their stakeholders pertaining to social and environmental impacts on their activities, together with their annual reports. There is no requirement for any specific constraints to be included with regards to their standards, thresholds or any other regulatory requirements. Although the law has been introduced, it should be considered as a soft law since the disclosed information is not regulated and there are no clear rules with regards to non-compliance. The legal responsibility is to report on social and environment impacts but without the requirement for certification of the disclosed information. In addition, the law does not clearly outline possible sanctions that may be imposed in cases of non-compliance or falsification of information. According to the research presented by L. Drusch and A.Lioui (2010) there has been a rapid growth in Corporate Social Responsibility in France over the last decade. This growth can be measured by the increase in the number of French companies that are listed in the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) index in France as well as the listing of French companies in International CSR rankings, such as the 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World listing. Like the United States, CSR in France is based on the triple-bottom-line approach and is aimed at improving social, economic or environmental aspects in society beyond financial motivation. In addition, the United States does provide CSR reporting to some extent although not regulated and submitted in a separate report to the annual statements. In July 2007, Indonesia enforced a mandatory regulation regarding corporate social responsibility, being the first country in the world to do so. Based on the research done by Rosser et al (2008), Indonesia promotes CSR to local small and medium enterprises as a way to reach US and European markets. As compared to Mauritius, where the obligation is to pay 2% of the book profit, Indonesia has imposed a 3-5% obligation to be paid to the government. According to empirical data, the CSR law in Indonesia requires revision and improvement due to misinterpretations thereof, as well as lack of a precise definition. The law created a fierce debate and was heavily challenged as being nothing more than a philanthropy tax that was detrimental for business. Those challenging the law argue that there is no need to regulate CSR as sectorial rules have already been defined and introduced to regulate corporate responsibilities, such as the Environmental Law, Labour Law and Investment Law. The law is very unclear with regards to the governments expectations and has no clear definition of CSR. Unlike France, the law in Indonesia does stipulate penalties for non-compliance. GrafstrÃ ¶m et al (2008) identified that over the past three decades, the term CSR has been extensively debated by companies and in academic circles across the globe with a common goal: to identify a definition of CSR that all and sundry can collectively agree upon. Kemp et al (2001) observed that companies were hesitant to divulge their actual CSR activities due to the confusion that the term has produced over the past years. It was found that companies are reluctant to publish their activities for fear of reprisal by the media and NGOs should their approach be erroneous. Carroll (1998) found that companies often interpret regulations incorrectly and that laws often create a hindrance rather than improving economic performance. Although Mauritius followed Indonesias stance on mandatory CSR, being only the second country in the world to do so, the differences between the two countries can be easily identified. When the law was introduced, Indonesia faced fierce disapproval and the mandatory requirement is still an on-going debate. It remains mostly a disorganised and misunderstood concept whereas Mauritius appears to have a clearly understanding of what CSR actually entails as opposed to simply being a governmental tax requirement. The introduction of CSR into the Mauritian business environment was done so with a clear understanding on the benefits to business success, reputation and the social impact that such contributions would make on the island. Many are of the opinion that even if CSR was not mandatory in Mauritius, most organisations would still voluntarily contributing to CSR as a good business practice. Like Indonesia, India faced strong criticism when trying to impose mandatory CSR obligations in 2011. Their intention was to make it mandatory for companies to contribute at least 2% of net profits to the government. In July 2011 the Indian government backed down and made CSR contributions voluntary by recasting it as responsible business and issuing a set of guidelines for companies released on July 8th 2011 by the then Union Minister of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Murli Deora. The debate surrounding the mandatory CSR in India continues and the government has requested that companies keep records of their CSR spending in order to disclose to their stakeholders. The Companies Bill 2009 contains many provisions but none more debated than CSR. Salman Khurshid (the current Union minister for law) and Deoras predecessor, initially a mandatory CSR enthusiast, swayed his views that if CSR contributions were publicised, they would create competitiveness between organisations that in turn would encourage contributions. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Industry (FICCI) suggested tax concessions to companies who reached voluntary targets. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a rival of the Indian Chambers, felt that mandatory corporate responsibility would be counterproductive, arguing that companies may resort to camouflaging activities to meet such regulations, particularly during recessionary periods and economic downturns. Indias philanthropic community does not support mandatory CSR. According to research, the CEO of the NGO Give India viewed this as a crazy idea. He believed that once CSR is made mandatory, people will find ways and means to get out of it. The rules would be so vague that the reporting would be even vaguer. The CEO and co-founder of the Dasra foundation agreed. He was not in favour of mandatory CSR. He felt that when you make things mandatory, the chance of them not being done would be greater. Philanthropist Rohini Nilekani strongly opposed mandatory CSR believing that it was just outsourcing of governance. She felt that if wanted, the corporations should be taxed and the money put into social programs but that CSR should not be dictated. Corporate giants, TATA and BIRLA, have practiced Corporate Social Responsibility actively, decades before the term CSR became popular in India. Even still, CSR remains misunderstood in the Indian Development Sector. Only a few private and public companies apply CSR and those that do tend to have International shareholding from countries where CSR is considered a business best practice. India attempted to follow in the footsteps of Indonesia and Mauritius by imposing mandatory CSR regulations, the only other country to have actively considered such enforcement. It seems evident from the various researchers and the review of the various approaches and overseas experiences that there is a marked difference in the concept and interpretation of CSR world-wide. Mauritian Context In Mauritius, private organisations are reputed to have an extended culture and tradition of CSR, principally in terms of voluntary social engagement in the communities where they operate and in the society at large. They have participated and contributed over the years to the social and environmental development of the country. Previous survey reports published by the Mauritius Employers Fund (MEF) in 2006 and 2008 indicate that Mauritian businesses in their large majority believe that their role in society extends beyond wealth generation and that pursuing economic interests needs to be balanced with social and environmental responsibility. Indeed, Mauritian enterprises have been engaged in both internal and external CSR, driven mainly by ethical considerations, employee motivation, company reputation and brand positioning. They have also taken into consideration benefits of employees and engaged in external CSR initiatives by contributing and supporting social and community relate d activities. The MEF Surveys have also shown that CSR has followed a rather philanthropic approach, characterised by informal activities, unrelated to business operations and strategy. The recent economic and financial crisis has led to a rise in the level of involvement of governments in the operation of the business sector across the world. There is also an emerging debate in the Corporate Social Responsibility literature with regards to the role of the state in the business relationship. Despite the efforts made by government and International agencies, the global poverty problem is worsening day by day. Thus, the contribution of organisations to Corporate Social Responsibility for the creation of a better society is rising. Corporate Social Responsibility Mandatory in Mauritius According to Y.Ramtohul (Sept 2011), on one hand, in Mauritius, all companies such as those holding a Category 1 Global Business Licence under the Financial Services Act, banks in Mauritius whose income is derived from banking transactions with non-resident or corporation holding a global business license under the financial, IRS companies as mentioned in the investment promotion ( Real Estate Development Scheme) Regulations 2007, as well as any non-resident societe , a trust or a trustee of a unit trust scheme are exempted from mandatory obligation from contributing to the CSR fund. On the other hand , all other companies incorporated and registered at the Registrar of Companies of Mauritius have to contribute 2% of their annual book profits to the CSR fund as provided by the S 50L of the Income Tax of Mauritius ( Act 16 1995). According to the S 50L of the same Act the 2 % that goes to the CSR fund shall be used to either implement an approved programme by a company, an approved programme under the National Empowerment Foundation or to finance an approved NGO. It is the responsibility of the CSR committee to review these programmes or NGOs to be financed as set up under the S 50 L section of the Income Tax in order to have a better control and transparency about the investment made. It is also interesting to understand that if, in respect to a year, the amount paid out to the CSR fund is less than 2% then the difference shall be remitted as an income and will be taxed at the end of the financial year. Statutory Requirements As from July 2009, companies in Mauritius therefore have the legal obligation to contri
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
A Review On What Is Nationalism Cultural Studies Essay Nationalism can be defined as a potential ideology that engenders a strong identification of a group of individuals with a nation. This ideology strives toward a common culture, including shared meanings, symbols and recognition of mutual rights and duties to each other as part of a shared membership of the nation. It therefore claims on behalf of the nation a right to constitute an independent autonomous political community based on a shared history and common identity. For many years, sociologists have argued that the identification of people or categorization into homeland cultures and origins is very complex. (Appaduarai 1990, said, 1986, Gifford 1998) and that the word identity is too ambiguous (Brubaker and Cooper 2000). They state that its meaning depends on the context of its use and the theoretical tradition from which the use in question derives. Nationalism can also be interpreted as the idea of sameness which manifests itself as solidarity in share dispositions and consci ousness or in collective action[from old essay] Throughout history and to this present day, sport has been frequently viewed as reinforcing national identification. For example the biggest championships are organised in ways to ensure that individuals represent their nation states. However with the effects of globalisation there has been a developing marked post-national dimension in national sport. For example, e.g. Englands premier league now includes a large and increasing proportion of foreign players. This has impacted domestic football and has ultimately led to a increase in foreign ownership in Englands Major clubs simultaneously affecting other sports too. In this essay, I will explore two contrasting theoretical models of nationalism: Ernest Gellners structuralist perspective and Andersons more culturalist theory of imagined communities and consider their applicability to modern sport. I will also attempt to demonstrate through several levels of sporte.g. national, transnational and local levelsthat nationalism plays an important role in each case. I then consider the effects of globalization on nationalism in sport. Ernest Gellner defines nationalism as primarily a principle that holds that the political and national unit should be congruent. (citation). He, thus, establishes nationalism as a political category, that is, the ideological agenda of delimiting the boundary of the polis to the ethnos, nation, or race. Gellner positions the rise of nationalism within the long-term shift from agricultural to industrial societies. Gellner suggests that industrialism has ultimately affected society, from basic social relationshow people interact with each otherto the overall political structure of communities. Gellner, like many scholars of nationalism, is a hard core modernist, his definition of modernity basically overlaps with industrialisation. Due to the changing structure of modern, industrial societies, a standardised high culture becomes necessary as work becomes more technical and impersonalised. Especially important in this process is the emerging system of mass education, which indoctrinates students as citizens of the nation. He makes the point that it is nationalism which engenders nations and not the other way round (citation) Among the contradictions nationalism generates, Gellner advances his characterisation of eastern nationalism: state enforced homogenisation, which he uses the metaphor to describe it as the empire of megalomania which provokes the reaction of those who have been excluded or opted out on their own choice in order to protect and preserve their own culture. [include a few other examples from text] As a society-focused structural functionalist, Gellner argued that ideology did not figure prominently in the development of nationalism. The LSE scholar Klie Kedourie on the other hand, a historian of ideas, maintains the opposite view (citation). Similarly, Benedict Anderson suggests that the idea of nationalism is vitally linked to when someones identity and persona are formed. Though a Marxist, and structuralist in this sense, Anderson argued that we were about to enter in a fundamental transformation in the history of Marxism and Marxist movements are upon us (citation). He claimed that the recent wars between Vietnam, Cambodia and China relax this and there are visible signs of cultural transformation. Connecting the emergence of nationalism with the structural transformations of print capitalism Anderson noted that England with the help of the printing press by Gutenberg made great strides to develop their own unique language to rival the invasion of Latin and French vocabular y. This constituted a development of power, which Britain extended into money with the help of colonialism, and the expansion of power into imperialism. Andersons core thesis is that nations are an imagined political community and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign (citation). He argue that nations are imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each of them lives the image of their community. The nation is imagined as limited because even the largest of them, encompassing perhaps a billion living human beings, has finite, if elastic, boundaries, beyond which lie other nations Like Gellner, Anderson notes that nations are a product of nationalism, noting nationalism is not the awakening of the nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist (citation). However, Andersons attention to ideological influences is less structuralist than Gellner. In relation to sport, Andersons conception of imagined communities seemed to be much more salient. The ideological coherence engendered with sport connects the symbolic and emotional effervescence of sport and nation in complex ways irreducible to the structural changes from agrarian to industrial societies. This is even more so the case during the recent changes in the context of globalisation. Nationalism is an important factor in sport as observable at several levels of analysis. Sport can be broken down into three levels: national, transnational and local levels. Much literature has been written on the connection between sport and globalization in particular soccer and globalization. In Un) bounded soccer demonstrates nationalism on a national level, Ben Porat discusses the interrelationship between football (soccer) and globalization in Israel. Globalization has, as many scholars would argue become a part of everyday life. The link between globalization and sport deserves attention and study because sport is big enough to not only reflect the process of globalization, but to also leave an imprint and affect the way globalization as an idea is thought about. Porat examines the development of soccer in Israel through several stages, adopting the view that globalization does not pound everything into the same mould (Mittleman, 2000) but instead its process is not even and the outcomes are affected by developments on a global and local scale. Porat believes Is raeli soccer, like the rest of society is affected and altered by the changing global context and key interactions between globalization and the local structure and dynamics. He(?) argue that soccer in Israel came about under certain boundaries within a state-centred economic and political context that outlined a political model for the organization of soccer. As Israel gradually became more capitalist and as globalization took place this lead to a transformation from a political model towards a economic model- as Israel went through the process of becoming capitalist this ultimately lead to it opening up to globalization The article ( When they studied the impact the globalization had on soccer they broke it down into three categories: the flows of capital, labour and culture. It is logical to initially assume that the impact of globalization probably is uneven and certain flows may occur first or be more dominating. The article is based on a general study of globalization in Israel (G. Ben Porat 2002) and the transformation of soccer from a game to a commodity (A. Ben Porat 2003), all of the information was gathered from the Israeli soccer association (IFA), the Wingate Institute, The soccer budget control authority and the sport sections of daily newspapers and finally interviews with IFA officials. They begin with a brief theoretical overview of globalization, then in the second part talk about Israeli soccer and its setting as an institution. In the final part they analyse the change or transformation of Israel soccer- the three global flows capital, labour and culture. Nationalism can also been found in sport at local levels and this is shown in the article Territory, Politics and Soccer Fandom in Northern Ireland and Sweden by Alan Bairner and Peter Shirlow- they compare two completely unconnected football clubs in two very different societies and show how in fact they are very similar in the way nationalism is observed and demonstrated at each club on a local level. It has been noted on several occasions that football fandom and identity politics are linked and widely interchangeable. How their linked more is more complex than it may initially seem. In this paper two sets of fans are analysed and they are complete polar opposites in terms of the societies them come from. The first group are Linfield supports who come from Northern Ireland and use their team as a means of expressing cultural resistance where the club and stadium is a safe haven for people with similar views due to the division of political and religious views in Northern Ireland- it has become their own (as Bairner and Shirlow put it) imagined community. The second group is a set of AIK supports from Sweden- they show than soccer fandom can turn a group of supports into a collective self which can turn in defiance against a perceived threat of the other. For a large number of people in the modern world, sport plays a vital role in the construction and reproduction of part of peoples identity and partially more in males. Two Australian sociologists Roy Jones and Phillip Moore argue that in a football stadium ethnic minorities can reinvent their identity to become part of the wider group. Even though players can detach themselves for the social and political aspects of the game, for the supporters Vic Duke and Liz Crolley (1996) believe that football matches never take place in isolation:The participants (the fans) do not cut themselves off from external matters. In a sense, football does not cut out external factors but acts more like a sieve that a solid wall, and the sieve is that only selecting but modifying what it filters (Duke and Crolley 1996) Linfield is supported to almost in its entirety working class protestant men. They use their football clubs as a means of expressing and vocalising there resistance. The Swedish club identity is equally tied up with its affection towards a particular stadium and its landscape or territory that it is suppose to represent. Just like the Northern Irish fans, fans of AIK- the black army have been involved, even if subconsciously with the creation of iconographies and an imagined community and there expressions of devotion to it. The article conveys a sense of the localised nature of politics of territorial control and resistance Fletcher explores nationalism in sport on a transnational scale. The article commentates on the events that took place in the historic cricket group of Lords in 2009 (citation). The article explores British Asians sense of nationhood, citizenship, ethnicity and how they manifest themselves in relation to sports fandom. Fletcher uses the example of Cricket and how it is used as a way of expressing British Identities. He looks to Norman Tebbits cricket test to help understand the intricacies of being a British Asian supporting the English national cricket team. The first section looks at Tebbits test and attempts to locate its place within the wider issue of multicultarism. Later the analysis focuses on the discourse of sports fandom and the idea of the home team advantage placing forward the concept that sports venues represent sites for the expression of nationalism and cultural expression due to their connection for national history. The article states that supporting anyone but England and therefore ultimately rejecting ethically exclusive notions of Englishness and brutishness continues to define British Asians cultural identity. The inspiration for the paper came on the 14th June 2009 when England played India at Lords the Home of English cricket. Despite of the fact England won comfortably the contest was overshadow by the days earlier events off the pitch. In the warm up match prior to the game it was revealed that the team had been jeered and booed by hundreds of British Asians who had come to support the Indian team (Indian Express). Following this event there was uproar within the cricket community as to British Asians sporting allegiances, their British citizenship. The data was collected during fieldwork undertaken between June 2007 and January 2010 with two amateur cricket clubs in south Yorkshire. One was mostly white in membership, the other British Asian. The predominately white club is known in the local area to be middle class and had been criticized by those within the game as failing to move with the times. Those from the British Asian club had either been born in Britain or had emigrated during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Research was based on semi-structured interviews, focus groups interviews and participant observation. Matchs training sessions and even social gatherings were attended (when possible). Yorkshire cricket had been known to be racist and suffer from racial inequality for a long time. The north of England on the whole had been plagued with a number of racially motivated civil disturbances such as the Bradford Riots (1995) and the Oldhan Riots (2001).As recently as August 2010 Bradford- known for its large south Asian communities, hosted English defence league demonstrations. This highlights the interaction between nationalism at the local level. Interestingly Scotlands whole sporting identity is formed around their hatred of England- We are the England Haters is a common chant which is sung about football and other sporting events. Whether this chanting is self-parodying or a genuine attempt to antagonise the English fans it is ironic that there whole identity is reliant on Englands existence. Perhaps more sinisterly the scots hatred of England runs deeper than just in football and is in fact a part of their national identity as a whole. It could be argued that Scotlands attempt in recent years to become a independent nation and be free from the crown represents this. To a large number of people in America sport plays a important role in creating a sense of what it means to be an American. It also represents a field where individuals can assert their dominance over their subordinates. Probably one of the clearest examples of this in American sport is in Ice Hockey, where its actually legal in the game if the gloves are thrown off to fight each other and the referees will often let them fight until one is tripped over. Hockey is a sport created by the Canadians. However it didnt gain the popularity it has now in the country overnight. It wasnt until the earlier 20th century that it really become recognised as an international sport. However it has become so popular in the country that in terms of its symbolic power it has been placed alongside other national institutions such as the federal government the public health care system and the Canadian broadcasting corporation. So it has encorporated what it means to be a candian Canada is hockey is a common slogan which can apparently be found on t-shirts being sold on many NFL games. In conclusion it can be seen that nationalism is prevalent in the world of sport, and it seems to be ever present regardless of how big the stage is. As I discussed earlier nationalism can be found at a local, national and transnational scale. Nationalism put simply is a ideology where individuals are linked by there strong identification with their home nation. Nationalism can be observed in many parts of society not only in sport but in many parts of culture. Out of the two perspectives which were discussed throughout this essay (gellners structuralist perspective) and Bendicts andersons imagined communities his more culturist argument seems to have more substance and is more of a solid argument. It was interesting to seem just have nationalism was engrained in the world of sport not just through Britain and the western world but seemingly throughout the whole world as well. Gellner diferiantes nationalism in the east as being state enforced homogenisation where he used his example of calling it a empire of megalomania.
Monday, August 19, 2019
It was the period of the renaissance when Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452. Leonardo was born a farmhouse in Anchiano, which is 2 Ã ½ miles away from Vinci. The family of Leonardo lived in this area since the 13th century. The father of Leonardo da Vinci, Ser Piero, was 25 years old; he was a public notary when Leonardo was born. The mother of Leonardo was called Catarina. Her first name is all what is known today. The Baptismal chapel in Vinci is where Leonardo was christened. Leonardo was christened from the name Piero da Bartholomew to the name Lionardo not Leonardo. The chapel is inside the church of Vinci. The church beside the castle of Vinci are formed the skyline of his town. Leonardo lived in Anchiano for five years until he settled to Vinci. Vinci is a small town, placed at the foot of Monte Albano. From this time he was member of his fathers family, but he was never considered born to his mother and father. In Vinci Leonardo went to school. It was told that teachers of Leonardo da Vinci were despaired about all the questions and doubts of Leonardo. Leonardo learned at school to read write and mathematics. He also learned geometry and Latin. Later Leonardo tried to improve his knowledge in Latin, because he thought that he didn't learn enough Latin in school. This may be the reason why Leonardo did his notes in Italian. Leonardo lived in Vinci until 1466. With the age of 14 Leonardo moved to Florence where he began to work in the workshop of Verrocchio. Verrocchio was at this time the most gifted artist in Florence. He was a sculptor, painter, goldsmith, bronze caster and more. Verrocchio had a lot of influence on Leonardo. Verrocchio was fascinated by the drawings of Leonardo so he gave him a place in his workshop. Leonardo worked at the workshop of Verrocchio with some other famous artists like Botticelli. Leonardo started working with mixing of colors and then he painted simple parts of paintings. There are no works of Leonardo known between 1466 and 1472, but Leonardo taught himself to paint in oils at this time. In June 1472 Leonardo was listed in the red book of painters from Florence. With the membership in the paintersÃ¢â¬â¢ guild of Florence ended the apprenticeship of Leonardo.
Sunday, August 18, 2019
The Importance of Principles in A Man for All Seasons There are many issues that people have to deal with in society. Some issues can be difficult to handle and some can be easy. While dealing with these issues, people tend to be more curious about their personal life then the life of their time period. There are many consequences that will be occurring to that situation depending on how people will deal with the problems they face in their lives. In the play "Man For All Season", Thomas More, does not only life for his personal life, but also the life oh his time period that makes him a strong person who faces many issues by being pressured his family and friend, by not saying the oath, and by always sticking to his principals. "A Man for All Seasons" by Robert Bolt, deals with a famous man suffers death rather that swearing on an oath which ran against the dictates of his conscience. He is a man of complete integrity and strength. More has an extremely brave mind, loyalty for his king, and a love of his religion. He is a man of strong faith and deep trust in himself when dealing with one of the difficult many situations he is placed in. One of the biggest political issues dealt with King Henry the 8th is that he needed a son. After nearly twenty years of marriage to Queen Catherine, Henry never got a son and therefore, had a divorce. Unfortunately, a papal dispensation was necessary. This dispensation is not easily obtained especially since Catherine the wife of Henry's older brother who had died. Therefore; the marriage had never been valid and the request for a second dispensation is refused. This is the time when Henry had asked More for his approval but More does not agree with the s ituation because it is against the law and his moral beliefs. As a consequence, more is sent to jail because these beliefs go against Henry orders. More is pressured by many people in this play but always tries his best to keep his beliefs and principles which makes him a "Man for All Seasons". Thomas More deals with a lot of pressures and stress that come from his family and friends.
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Ã¢â¬Å"I'm feeling much better,Ã¢â¬ Elena told Dr. Meggar. Ã¢â¬Å"I'd like to take a walk around the estate.Ã¢â¬ She tried not to bounce up and down on the bed. Ã¢â¬Å"I've been eating steak and drinking milk and I even took that vile cod liver oil you sent. Also I have a very firm grasp of reality: I'm here to rescue Stefan and the little boy inside Damon is a metaphor for his unconscious, which the blood we shared allowed me to Ã¢â¬Ësee.'Ã¢â¬ She bounced once, but covered it by reaching for a glass of water. Ã¢â¬Å"I feel like a happy puppy pulling at the leash.Ã¢â¬ She exhibited her newly designed slave bracelets: silver with lapis lazuli inserts in fluid designs. Ã¢â¬Å"If I die suddenly, I am prepared.Ã¢â¬ Dr. Meggar's eyebrows worked up and down. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, I can't find anything wrong with your pulse or your breathing. I don't see how a nice afternoon walk can hurt you. Damon's certainly up and walking. But don't you go giving Lady Ulma any ideas. She still needs months of bed rest.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"She has a nice little desk made from a breakfast tray,Ã¢â¬ Bonnie explained, gesturing to show size and width. Ã¢â¬Å"She designs clothes on that.Ã¢â¬ Bonnie leaned forward, wide-eyed. Ã¢â¬Å"And you know what? Her dresses are magic.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I wouldn't expect anything less,Ã¢â¬ grunted Dr. Meggar. But the next moment Elena remembered something unpleasant. Ã¢â¬Å"Even when we get the keys,Ã¢â¬ she said, Ã¢â¬Å"we have to plot the actual jailbreak.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What's a jailbreak?Ã¢â¬ Lakshmi asked excitedly. Ã¢â¬Å"It's like this Ã¢â¬â we've got the keys to Stefan's cell, but we still need to figure out how we're going to get into the prison, and how we're going to smuggle him out.Ã¢â¬ Lakshmi frowned. Ã¢â¬Å"Why not just go in with the line and take him out the gate?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Because,Ã¢â¬ Elena said, trying for patience, Ã¢â¬Å"they won't let us just walk in and get him.Ã¢â¬ She narrowed her eyes as Lakshmi put her head in her hands. Ã¢â¬Å"What're you thinking, Lakshmi?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Well, first you say that you're going to have the key in your hand when you go to the prison, then you act like they're not going to let him out of the prison.Ã¢â¬ Meredith shook her head, bewildered. Bonnie put a hand to her forehead as if it ached. But Elena slowly leaned forward. Ã¢â¬Å"Lakshmi,Ã¢â¬ she said, very quietly, Ã¢â¬Å"are you saying that if we have a key to Stefan's cell it's basically a pass in and out of prison?Ã¢â¬ Lakshmi brightened up. Ã¢â¬Å"Of course!Ã¢â¬ she said. Ã¢â¬Å"Otherwise, what would a key be good for? They could just lock him in another cell.Ã¢â¬ Elena could hardly believe the wonder of what she had just heard, so she immediately began trying to poke holes in it. Ã¢â¬Å"That would mean we could go straight from Bloddeuwedd's party to the prison and just take Stefan out,Ã¢â¬ she said with as much sarcasm as she could inject into her voice. Ã¢â¬Å"We could just show our key and they'd let us take him away.Ã¢â¬ Lakshmi nodded eagerly. Ã¢â¬Å"Yes!Ã¢â¬ she said joyfully, the sarcasm having gone right over her head. Ã¢â¬Å"And, don't be mad, okay? But I wondered why you never went to visit him.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"We can visit him?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Sure, if you make an appointment.Ã¢â¬ By now Meredith and Bonnie had come to life and were supporting Elena on either side. Ã¢â¬Å"How soon can we send someone to make an appointment?Ã¢â¬ Elena said through her teeth, because it was taking all her effort to speak Ã¢â¬â her entire weight was resting on her two friends. Ã¢â¬Å"Who can we send to make an appointment?Ã¢â¬ she whispered. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll go,Ã¢â¬ Damon said from the crimson darkness behind them. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll go tonight Ã¢â¬â give me five minutes.Ã¢â¬ Matt could feel that he had on his most cross and stubborn expression. Ã¢â¬Å"C'mon,Ã¢â¬ Tyrone said, looking amused. They were both gearing up for a trip into the thicket. This meant putting on two of the mothball-clove-recipe coats each and then using duct tape to fasten the gloves to the coats. Matt was sweating already. But Tyrone was a good guy, he thought. Here Matt had come out of nowhere and said, Ã¢â¬Å"Hey, you know that bizarre thing you saw with poor Jim Bryce last week? Well, it's all connected to something even more bizarre Ã¢â¬â all about fox spirits and the Old Wood, and Mrs. Flowers says that if we don't figure out what's going on, we're going to be in real trouble. And Mrs. Flowers isn't just a batty old lady at the boardinghouse, even though everybody says so.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Of course she isn't,Ã¢â¬ Dr. Alpert's brusque voice had said from the doorway. She put down her black bag Ã¢â¬â still a country doctor, even when the town was in crisis Ã¢â¬â and addressed her son. Ã¢â¬Å"Theophilia Flowers and I have known each other a long time Ã¢â¬â and Mrs. Saitou, too. They were both always helping people. That's their nature.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Well Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬ Matt had seen an opportunity and jumped at it. Ã¢â¬Å"Mrs. Flowers is the one who needs help now. Really, really needs help.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Then what're you sitting there for, Tyrone? Hurry up and go help Mrs. Flowers.Ã¢â¬ Dr. Alpert had ruffled her own iron-gray hair with her fingers, then ruffled her son's black hair fondly. Ã¢â¬Å"I was, Mom. We were just leaving when you came in.Ã¢â¬ Tyrone, seeing Matt's grim horror-story of a car, had politely offered to drive them to Mrs. Flowers's house in his Camry. Matt, afraid of a terminal blowout at some crucial moment, was only too happy to accept. He was glad that Tyrone would be the lynchpin of the Robert E. Lee High football team in the coming year. Ty was the kind of guy you could count on Ã¢â¬â as witness his immediate offer of help today. He was a good sport, and absolutely straight and clean. Matt couldn't help but see how drugs and drinking had ruined not only the actual games, but the sportsmanship of the other teams on campus. Tyrone was also a guy who could keep his mouth shut. He hadn't even peppered Matt with questions as they drove back to the boardinghouse, but he did give a wolf whistle, not at Mrs. Flowers, but at the bright yellow Model T she was driving into the old stables. Ã¢â¬Å"Whoa!Ã¢â¬ he said, jumping out to help her with a grocery bag, while his eyes drank in the Model T from fender to fender. Ã¢â¬Å"That's a Model T Fordor Sedan! This could be one beautiful car if Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬ He stopped abruptly and his brown skin burned with a sunset glow. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh, my, don't be embarrassed about the Yellow Carriage!Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers said, allowing Matt to take another bag of groceries back through the kitchen garden and into the kitchen of the house. Ã¢â¬Å"She's served this family for nearly a hundred years, and she's accumulated some rust and damage. But she goes almost thirty miles an hour on paved roads!Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers added, speaking not only proudly, but with the somewhat awed respect owed to high-speed travel. Matt's eyes met Tyrone's and Matt knew there was only one shared thought hanging in the air between them. To restore to perfection the dilapidated, worn, but still beautiful car that spent most of its time in a converted stable. Ã¢â¬Å"We could do it,Ã¢â¬ Matt said, feeling that, as Mrs. Flowers's representative, he should make the offer first. Ã¢â¬Å"We sure could,Ã¢â¬ Tyrone said dreamily. Ã¢â¬Å"She's already in a double garage Ã¢â¬â no problems about room.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"We wouldn't have to strip her down to the frameÃ¢â¬ ¦she really rides like a dream.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You're kidding! We could clean the engine, though: have a look at the plugs and belts and hoses and stuff. AndÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â dark eyes gleaming suddenly Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"my dad has a power sander. We could strip the paint and repaint it the exact same yellow!Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers suddenly beamed. Ã¢â¬Å"That was what dear Mama was waiting for you to say, young man,Ã¢â¬ she said, and Matt remembered his manners long enough to introduce Tyrone. Ã¢â¬Å"Now, if you had said, Ã¢â¬ËWe'll paint her burgundy' or Ã¢â¬Ëblue' or any other color, I'm sure she would have objected,Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers said as she began to make ham sandwiches, potato salad, and a large kettle of baked beans. Matt watched Tyrone's reaction to the mention of Ã¢â¬Å"MamaÃ¢â¬ and was pleased: there was an instant of surprise, followed by an expression like calm water. His mother had said Mrs. Flowers wasn't a batty old lady: therefore she wasn't a batty old lady. A huge weight seemed to roll off Matt's shoulders. He wasn't alone with a fragile elderly woman to protect. He had a friend who was actually a little bigger than he was to rely on. Ã¢â¬Å"Now both of you, have a ham sandwich, and I'll make the potato salad while you're eating. I know that young menÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â Mrs. Flowers always spoke of men as if they were a special kind of flower Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"need lots of good hearty meat before going into battle, but there's no reason to be formal. Let's just dig right in as things are done.Ã¢â¬ They had happily obeyed. Now they were preparing for battle, feeling ready to fight tigers, since Mrs. Flowers's idea of dessert was a pecan pie split between the boys, along with huge cups of coffee that cleared the brain like a power sander. Tyrone and Matt drove Matt's junker to the cemetery, followed by Mrs. Flowers in the Model T. Matt had seen what the trees could do to cars and he wasn't going to subject Tyrone's whistle-clean Camry to the prospect. They walked down the hill to Matt and Sergeant Mossberg's hide, each of the boys giving a hand to help the frail Mrs. Flowers over rough bits. Once, she tripped and would have fallen, but Tyrone dug the toes of his DC shoes into the hill and stood like a mountain as she tumbled against him. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh, my Ã¢â¬â thank you, Tyrone dear,Ã¢â¬ she murmured and Matt knew that Ã¢â¬Å"Tyrone dearÃ¢â¬ had been accepted into the fold. The sky was dark except for one streak of scarlet as they reached the hide. Mrs. Flowers took out the sheriff's badge, rather clumsily, due to the gardening gloves she was wearing. First she held it to her forehead, then she slowly drew it away, still holding it in front of her at eye-level. Ã¢â¬Å"He stood here and then he bent down and squatted here,Ã¢â¬ she said, getting down in what was Ã¢â¬â in fact Ã¢â¬â the correct side of the hide. Matt nodded, hardly knowing what he was doing, and Mrs. Flowers said without opening her eyes, Ã¢â¬Å"No coaching, Matt dear. He heard someone behind him Ã¢â¬â and whirled, drawing his gun. But it was only Matt, and they spoke in whispers for a while. Ã¢â¬Å"Then he suddenly stood up.Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers stood suddenly and Matt heard all sorts of alarming little pops and crackles in her delicate old body. Ã¢â¬Å"He went walking Ã¢â¬â striding Ã¢â¬â down into that thicket. That evil thicket.Ã¢â¬ She set off for the thicket as Sheriff Rich Mossberg had when Matt had watched him. Matt and Tyrone went hurrying after her, ready to stop her if she showed any signs of entering the remnant of Old Wood that still lived. Instead, she walked around it, with the badge held to eye height. Tyrone and Matt nodded at each other and without speaking, each took one of her arms. This way they skirted the edge of the thicket, all the way around, with Matt going first, Mrs. Flowers next, and Tyrone last. At some point Matt realized that tears were making their way down Mrs. Flowers's withered cheeks. At last, the fragile old woman stopped, took out a lacy handkerchief Ã¢â¬â after one or two tries Ã¢â¬â and wiped her eyes with a gasp. Ã¢â¬Å"Did you find him?Ã¢â¬ Matt asked, unable to hold in his curiosity any longer. Ã¢â¬Å"Well Ã¢â¬â we'll have to see. Kitsune seem to be very, very good at illusions. Everything I saw could have been an illusion. ButÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â she heaved a sigh Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"one of us is going to have to step into the Wood.Ã¢â¬ Matt gulped. Ã¢â¬Å"That'll be me, then Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" He was interrupted. Ã¢â¬Å"Hey, no way, man. You know their ops, whatever they are. You've got to get Mrs. Flowers out of this Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"No, I can't risk just asking you to come over here and get hurt Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"Well, what am I doing out here, then?Ã¢â¬ Tyrone demanded. Ã¢â¬Å"Wait, my dears,Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers said, sounding as if she were about to cry. The boys shut up immediately, and Matt felt ashamed of himself. Ã¢â¬Å"I know a way that you both can help me, but it's very dangerous. Dangerous for the two of you. But perhaps if we only have to do it once, we can cut the risk of danger and increase our chance of finding something.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What is it?Ã¢â¬ Tyrone and Matt said almost simultaneously. A few minutes later, they were prepped for it. They were lying side by side, facing the wall formed by the tall trees and tangled underbrush of the thicket. They were not only roped together, but they had Mrs. Saitou's Post-it notes placed all over their arms. Ã¢â¬Å"Now when I say Ã¢â¬Ëthree' I want you both to reach in and grab at the ground with your hands. If you feel something, keep hold of it and pull your arm out. If you don't feel anything, move your hand a little and then pull it out as fast as you can. And by the way,Ã¢â¬ she added calmly, Ã¢â¬Å"if you feel anything trying to pull you in or immobilize your arm, yell and fight and kick and scream, and we'll help you to get out.Ã¢â¬ There was a long, long minute of silence. Ã¢â¬Å"So basically, you think there are things all around on the ground in the thicket, and that we might get hold of them just by reaching in blindly,Ã¢â¬ Matt said. Ã¢â¬Å"Yes,Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers said. Ã¢â¬Å"All right,Ã¢â¬ said Tyrone, and once again Matt glanced at him approvingly. He hadn't even asked Ã¢â¬Å"What kind of things could pull us into the Wood?Ã¢â¬ Now they were in position and Mrs. Flowers was counting Ã¢â¬Å"One, two, three,Ã¢â¬ and then Matt had thrust his right arm in as far as it would go and was sweeping his arm while groping. He heard a shout from beside him. Ã¢â¬Å"Got it!Ã¢â¬ And then instantly: Ã¢â¬Å"Something's pulling me in!Ã¢â¬ Matt pulled his own arm out of the thicket before trying to help Tyrone. Something dropped down on it, but it hit a Post-it note and it felt as if he'd been whacked by a piece of a Styrofoam. Tyrone was thrashing wildly and had already been dragged in to his shoulders. Matt grabbed him by the waist and used all his strength to haul backward. There was a moment of resistance Ã¢â¬â and then Tyrone came popping out as if suddenly released like a cork. There were scratches on his face and neck, but none where the overcoats had covered him or where the Post-it notes were. Matt felt a desire to say Ã¢â¬Å"Thank you,Ã¢â¬ but the two women who had made him amulets were far away, and he felt stupid saying it to Tyrone's coat. In any case, Mrs. Flowers was fluttering and thanking people enough for three. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh, my, Matt, when that big branch came down I thought your arm would be broken Ã¢â¬â at least. Thank the dear Lord that the Saitou women make such excellent amulets. And, Tyrone dear, please take a swig out of this canteen Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"Uh, I don't really drink much Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"It's just hot lemonade, my own recipe, dear. If it weren't for both you boys, we wouldn't have succeeded. Tyrone, you found something, yes? And then you were caught and would never have been released if Matt hadn't been here to save you.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Oh, I'm sure he'd've got out,Ã¢â¬ Matt said hurriedly, because it must be embarrassing for anybody like The Tyreminator to admit they needed help. Tyrone, however, just said soberly, Ã¢â¬Å"I know. Thanks, Matt.Ã¢â¬ Matt felt himself blush. Ã¢â¬Å"But I didn't get anything after all,Ã¢â¬ Tyrone said disgustedly. Ã¢â¬Å"It felt like a piece of old pipe or something Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"Well, let's have a look,Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers said very seriously. She turned the strongest flashlight on the object Tyrone had risked so much to bring out of the thicket. At first Matt thought it was a gigantic rawhide dog bone. But then an all-too-familiar shape made him look closer. It was a femur, a human femur. The biggest bone in the body, the one from the leg. And it was still white. Fresh. Ã¢â¬Å"It doesn't seem to be plastic,Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers said in a voice that seemed very far away. It wasn't plastic. Matt could see where little tiny bits had curled up and away from the exterior. It wasn't rawhide, either. It wasÃ¢â¬ ¦well, real. A real human leg bone. But that wasn't the most horrifying thing; the thing that sent Matt spiraling out into darkness. The bone was polished clean and marked with the imprints of dozens of tiny little teeth.